Bennett vows to combat organized crime in Arab sector after 4 killed over weekend

Leaders demand police crackdown on rampant violence in Arab communities. “This is a national mission,” Bennett stated.

By World Israel News Staff.

An Arab-Israeli couple and their teenage daughter were killed in a drive-by shooting on Saturday. And then on Sunday, an Arab truck driver was gunned down in Lod. Both attacks were linked to organized crime, touching on demands that the Israeli government do more to crack down on violent crime in the Arab sector.

Yousef Jarushi, his wife Noel, and their 16-year-old daughter were found dead in their car near the Arab-Israeli town of Ailabun, near Tiberias. Also injured was their nine-year-old daughter, who is listed in moderate condition at the Poriya Medical Center in Tiberias.

Police believe the attack was related to an internal feud in the Ramle-based Jarushi crime family. Not far from the scene, police found a torched car and a Kalashnikov rifle that they suspect was used in the shooting.

The Jarushis are said to be among Israel’s most violent crime families, making hundreds of millions shekels every year through gambling, counterfeiting, trafficking in weapons and drugs, and extorting protection money from small businesses. In recent years, the family reportedly expanded into forex trading fraud.

On Sunday, Jamil Azberga of Lod was gunned down while driving his truck. The Azberga crime family was known to be feuding with the Abu Salok crime family; in December, Jamil’s father Salaman, was killed hours after a drive by shooting targeted Abu Salok figures driving under police escort. It remains unclear what involvement, if any, Jamil had with organized crime.

The attacks were the first item mentioned in Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s remarks at the beginning of Sunday’s weekly cabinet meeting.

“Since the beginning of the year, dozens of people have been murdered in the Arab sector. The violence in the Arab sector is a blight on the country that has been neglected for many years. Responsibility for fighting this is on our shoulders. This is a national mission,” Bennett said.

“I spoke this morning with the Public Security Minister and we agreed on the formulation of a national plan to fight crime in the Arab sector as soon as possible. We will do this in all dimensions: Civil, economic and – of course – criminal. This is, first of all, the desire of the sector itself and it is – of course – an overall national interest.”

It is estimated that 55 Arab-Israelis have been killed in violent crimes in 2021.

A statement issued by the National Committee of ​the Heads of the Arab Local Authorities called on the government to take stronger action against the crime in their communities.

“Again the lawlessness is rampant and, once again, weapons in the hands of criminals cost human lives. The new government must bring justice and stop the madness immediately,” the statement said.