Islamist party head Mansour Abbas willing to partner with Netanyahu on battling Arab crime

Should the uptick in slayings continue, 2023 is slated to be the deadliest year on record for Israel’s Arab sector.

By World Israel News Staff

A prominent Israel-Arab politician said he would be willing to work in cooperation with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to combat rampant crime in Arab communities, which has seen murder rates spike in 2023.

MK Mansour Abbas, who served as the coalition kingmaker in the previous government headed by former prime minister Naftali Bennett, is the head of the Islamist Ra’am party.

Abbas, who was reportedly in talks with Netanyahu to support a government headed by him in 2021 before the idea was quashed by other potential coalition parties, has maintained cordial relations with the right-wing Haredi and Likud parties.

In an interview with Arabic-language Radio Nas on Wednesday morning, Abbas said that he would be interested in partnering with Netanyahu – in exchange for the premier appointing him as the head czar responsible for battling crime in the sector.

He told Radio Nas that he wanted to see if Netanyahu is truly serious about fighting frequent murders and extortion in Arab municipalities, as the premier had publicly stated. “I would like to challenge Netanyahu on this, to see if he really cares about the well-being of Arab-Israeli citizens,” Abbas said.

Read  Palestinian Authority agrees to transfer power to Hamas if it wins election

On Tuesday, an Arab-Israeli man was shot dead in northern Israel, marking the 125th victim of homicide in the community in 2023. The victim, identified as Marhan Awaisy, was the son of the deputy mayor of Nazareth.

According to the Abraham Accords NGO, which monitors killings in the Arab community, the number of murders in 2023 has already surpassed the total in 2022, which stood at 116.

Should the uptick in slayings continue, 2023 is slated to be the deadliest year on record for Israel’s Arab sector.

While some Arab politicians have complained about alleged government neglect being the cause of crime, Israel’s police have cited witnesses and victims’ unwillingness to cooperate with authorities or testify in court as a major barrier to fighting crime.