At shooting site, Ben Gvir urges using national guard, Shin Bet to tackle Arab ‘wild west’

People at the scene where five people were shot dead in the town of Yafa an-Naseriyye, June 8, 2023. (Fadi Amun/Flash90)
People at the scene where five people were shot dead in the town of Yafa an-Naseriyye, June 8, 2023. (Fadi Amun/Flash90)

Under attack from opposition politicians over his handling of an ongoing wave of violent crime in the Arab community which he promised before the elections to solve, National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir arrives at the scene of a mass shooting in Yafa an-Naseriyye in which five people were killed.

Speaking to reporters, Ben Gvir says he “shares the grief” of the bereaved families and sends speedy recovery wishes to the injured, which include a three-year-old girl seriously hurt in a separate shooting today in nearby Kafr Kanna.

“There has been a wild west in the Arab community for the past few years,” Ben Gvir says, adding that he and his staff are “working hard” to tackle the “root problems” but that there are hindrances.

He touts two solutions, the first of which is establishing a national guard under his ministry, a move that has been decried as handing the far-right politician a “private militia” and has been slowed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. Ben Gvir says such a force is “so important,” expressing hope that it will start acting soon.

His second, more immediate solution involves the Shin Bet security agency in tackling the crime organizations, which Netanyahu said today he will do.

Ben Gvir demands passing a cabinet resolution to involve the Shin Bet as early as this coming Sunday.

“With God’s help, we will do it,” he says.

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