ISRAEL AT WAR - DAY 145

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Hamas leader: ‘Zionist occupation’ to blame for crime wave in Arab community

PA President Mahmoud Abbas (left), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (center) and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh meeting in Ankara, July 26, 2023. (Turkish Presidency)
PA President Mahmoud Abbas (left), Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan (center) and Hamas chief Ismail Haniyeh meeting in Ankara, July 26, 2023. (Turkish Presidency)

The leader of Hamas’s political bureau, Ismail Haniyeh, blames “the Zionist occupation” for the ongoing violent crime wave in Israel’s Arab community, in his first public comment on the matter.

“We hold the Zionist occupation responsible for the blood and the murders running wild inside the lands of 1948,” his office says in a statement.

“The security arms of the Zionist enemy play a dangerous role that aims to engage our people in another struggle to forget their religious and historical ties to the Palestinian people in Gaza, the West Bank, and in exile,” the statement reads.

According to the Abraham Initiatives, an anti-violence advocacy group, 166 Arabs have been killed in homicides this year, an all-time high and more than double the figure at the same last year. Most of the victims were killed in shootings.

Most of the killings are part of a violent crime wave that has engulfed the Arab community in recent years. Authorities have blamed burgeoning organized crime and the proliferation of weaponry, while some have pointed to a failure by communities to cooperate with law enforcement to root out criminals.

Most of the killings are part of a violent crime wave that has engulfed the Arab community in recent years. Authorities have blamed burgeoning organized crime and the proliferation of weaponry, while some have pointed to a failure by communities to cooperate with law enforcement to root out criminals.

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