3 police vehicles torched, Arab crime gangs suspected

Two of the police vehicles were set on fire outside houses in Hatzor and Tzfat in the Galilee.

By Aryeh Savir, TPS

The police on Sunday launched an investigation into three separate incidents in which police vehicles were set on fire at different locations in the north over the weekend.

On Saturday night, a police officer’s vehicle was set on fire while parked outside his home at Yesod HaMa’ala.

On Thursday night, two police vehicles were set on fire outside houses in Hatzor and Tzfat in the Galilee.

The arson apparently comes against the backdrop of the police’s battle against crime in the Arab sector and illegal weapons in nearby villages.

Israel’s Police have seized thousands of weapons in Arab communities over the course of 2020, including more than 550 in December.

In almost 12 months, police have arrested about 5,200 suspects across the country for weapons offenses and shootings, more than 90% of them are from the Arab sector.

More than 1,450 indictments have been filed against firearms offenders in 2020, 132 of them in the last month.

Police activity against weapons and ammunition offense focuses on localities in the Arab sector.

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In November, about 100 firearms of various types were seized by the police in Arab cities and towns, along with dozens of grenades, parts of weapons, cartridges, explosives and ammunition.

Over 100 Arabs were murdered in Israel throughout the entirety of 2019.

Israeli Arabs represent about 20% of the general population.

Between 2015 and 2019, 80% of those suspected of committing firearm-related crimes in Israel were non-Jews.

The homicide rate in the Arab community in Israel increased by 60% from 2016 to 2019, and in 2018, the murder rate among Arabs in Israel was more than eight times the rate among Jewish Israelis, a new study published by the Baladna Association for Arab Youth shows.

In total, 575 homicides were reported over the course of the past nine years.