Jamal Hakrush was promoted Wednesday to the second-highest rank in the Israel Police, that of deputy commissioner, the first-ever Arab Muslim to reach the lofty rank.
Hakrush, who hails from the Galilee village of Kafr Kanna, will lead a newly formed police division aimed at improving police services in Arab communities.
Hakrush was formally appointed Wednesday in a ceremony attended by Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich.
At the ceremony, Alsheich praised Hakrush and called for qualified Arab Israelis to join the police. Alscheich said that Hakrush, and the Israel Police, will work to crack down on illegal weapons in the Arab community.
Earlier this year, Alsheich announced a new initiative to fight the “frighteningly high” rates of domestic violence, murder, illegal weapons possession, and other crimes in the Arab sector.
The new program, the brainchild of Alsheich and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, seeks to recruit 1,300 new officers and build dozens of new stations in Arab population centers.
“This issue is not only of concern to the police, but also to the Arab community itself,” Alsheich said at the time.
“There is a strong desire to strengthen policing in the Arab community. I met dozens of leaders of Arab local councils and discovered that there was great willingness. ‘Just send in the police already,’ they told me.”