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Bennett decries violent crime surge in Arab towns: ‘We are losing the country’

Police at the scene of the murder of Sahar Ismail, the education minister's aide for Arab society, in the northern Israeli town of Rameh, on August 15, 2021. (Flash90)
Illustrative: Police at the scene of the murder of Sahar Ismail, the education minister's aide for Arab society, in the northern Israeli town of Rameh, on August 15, 2021. (Flash90)

Ministers approve a bill to expand police’s authority to carry out home searches without a court-approved warrant, as part of government efforts to fight record levels of violent crime in the Arab Israeli community.

The bill, sponsored by Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar, seeks to allow officers to enter a home without a warrant if they believe there’s an object or suspect on the premises that is linked to a “grave crime.”

“We are losing the country,” Prime Minister Naftali Bennett says during the weekly cabinet meeting.

Several ministers express reservations over the measure, with Defense Minister Benny Gantz calling for it to be temporary.

“We need to make sure that we do not stray over to other issues,” Gantz says.

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