A senior Arab Israeli police officer vowed to continue his work fighting crime in his community, after unknown gunmen attacked his home on Friday night.
“This is a continuation of the violent incidents that we see, and why we established the unit for fighting crime in the Arab community,” Jamal Hakrush told Channel 12 news on Saturday night.
Hakrush said that the incident wouldn’t stop or deter him or his unit, whose directive is to fight rising crime in Arab cities and towns, from continuing their work.
“Our goal is to bring security to each citizen, and it is clear to us that to get to that goal, we will need to pass a number of obstacles, but this won’t stop us,” he told the network.
There were no injuries in the incident on Friday night, although the shooting damaged Hakrush’s home, police said in a statement.
The Haaretz daily reported that the Shin Bet security service was taking part in the police investigation to locate the gunmen.
Public Security Minister Omer Barlev denounced the shooting as a “declaration of war” by crime families on the police.
Arab communities have seen a surge in violence in recent years, driven mainly by organized crime.
In 2020, 96 Arab Israelis were killed in violent attacks, by far the highest annual toll in recent memory. Some 70 have been killed this year so far.
Arab Israelis blame police, whom they say have failed to crack down on powerful criminal organizations and largely ignore the violence, which includes family feuds, mafia turf wars and violence against women.
According to a 2020 Knesset report, some 400,000 illegal weapons are circulating in Israel, the vast majority in Arab communities.
In July, Prime Minister Naftali Bennett said that violence and crime in Arab Israeli communities was a “national calamity,” as he met with senior government and police officials to formulate a national plan to tackle the issue.