More than a thousand Arabs demonstrated Friday in northern Israel to protest rampant crime and inaction by Israeli police, a day after five people were killed in a shooting at a car wash station.
According to AFP, the five dead were from Yafa Nazareth and were shot dead on Thursday in the town west of Nazareth, amid the worst wave of crime in years.
Demonstrators marched through Yafa Nazareth on Friday carrying black and white flags stained in red, and banners reading "We have the right to live in safety" and "Salvation".
The local council declared mourning and a three-day general strike, while two of the dead were funeral on Friday at the Melkite Greek Catholic Church in the town.
After Thursday's shooting, the death toll of Israeli Arabs in the wave of violence rose to about 100.
A protester holds a banner while participating in a protest against the killing of five Israeli Arabs in the village of Jaffa, west of Nazareth (French)
Police announced after the shooting that they had "arrested 11 people," noting that "one or more people" opened fire on a group of men at a car wash, while another police official suggested it was part of a guerrilla war.
Maher Khalili, head of the local council in Yafa Nazareth, described the shooting as a "massacre" and blamed the police for their inaction.
Experts say Arab gangs have amassed large quantities of illegal weapons over the past two decades and are involved in the trade in drugs, arms and people, prostitution, extortion and money laundering.
Israeli Arabs have long complained of discrimination and police failure to address violence and crime in their community, making up about 20 percent of the population – the children and grandchildren of Palestinians who remained on their land on which the State of Israel was founded after the 1948 Nakba.