Police said Sunday that 19 people were arrested in the wake of a brawl that broke out a day earlier between two families in the northern village of Tur’an, apparently over the dismissal of the local mosque’s imam.
In addition to the arrests, police said two Carlo-style weapons were seized, referring to the homemade or craft-produced rudimentary Carl Gustav submachine gun.
According to the police, fireworks and rocks were thrown, weapons were fired into the air and four vehicles were set on fire during Saturday’s brawl. There were no reports of injuries.
Security forces arrived on the scene to contain the violence and then conducted searches in the area to locate those involved.
Police said they have been operating in the village over the past month, consulting with the local leadership in order to prevent the escalation of violence, and noted they are taking the situation very seriously.
In addition, police called on residents and local leaders to restore calm to the village.
Tens of thousands of people have held protests in Arab towns in over the past few weeks, demanding police step up enforcement to make their streets safe. The demonstrations kicked off with a general strike among the community.
Arab leaders say the Israel Police largely ignores the violence in their communities, everything from family feuds and mafia turf wars to domestic violence and so-called honor killings.
The police adamantly reject the allegations of indifference and say they are doing everything they can to stem the violence. They say local leaders need to do more to cooperate with police and to prevent violence.