Israel: 'death march' in Tel Aviv on behalf of crime victims
This Sunday, August 6, they were several thousand in Tel Aviv for the "death march" procession to denounce the inaction of the Israeli government in the face of violence in Israeli Arab society. Not a new phenomenon, but one that is only getting worse.
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Protest against the surge in violent crime in the Israeli Arab community in Tel Aviv, this Sunday, August 6, 2023. AP - Ariel Schalit
Text by: RFI Follow
With our correspondent in Tel Aviv, Sharon Aronowicz
More than 140 deaths this year, more than double last year at the same time. Three men have been killed by gangs in the past week, victims of settling scores.
In the streets: 141 coffins, for each of these people. On the placards, faces of mostly young men: sons, brothers, murdered husbands. Sometimes children, like Muhammad's son.
They shot at a car, he said. My son was playing next door and was shot twice in the head and died. Died on the spot. Before his mother's eyes. He wasn't even four years old. And what did the government do? Nothing at all!»
I waited 17 years for a son, I have four daughters and I prayed for a son, and Amar was born. And now he is dead, shot dead by an assault rifle.
Sidewalk microphone: words of relatives of victims of violence in Israeli Arab society
For Michal, an Israeli Jew attending the rally, there is a direct link between the Netanyahu government and the rise in casualties. "When this government came to power, the first thing it did was freeze the budgets of projects aimed at preventing crime and violence in Arab society," she said. As a result of that, we've just seen the numbers go up and nobody cares. We have a Minister of Homeland Security who does not care.»
One hundred and forty-one coffins during today's protest in Tel Aviv against the rise of violent crime in the Israeli Arab community, this Sunday, August 6, 2023. AP - Ariel Schalit
Makbula is a journalist for a local Arabic-language radio station. She stresses the importance of demonstrating in the heart of Tel Aviv, so that Israeli Jews stop ignoring this scourge: "We must carry the voice of Arab society that is collapsing under the weight of crime and the abandonment of the state, with a negligent police force that fails to act. Criminals have a free voice, there is no one to stop them!»
" READ ALSO Crime, a scourge that worsens in Israeli Arab society
Nearly 75% of murders committed in the community come from organized crime, fueled by out-of-control arms trafficking. Organizers of Sunday's march denounced the inaction of the government and the Israeli police, and blamed the state for not investing the necessary resources to combat the violence in a long-term and comprehensive manner.
" READ ALSO In Tel Aviv, an Israeli-Palestinian association gathers in memory of the victims of the conflict
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