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Minister says widescale operation needed to stem ‘national threat’ of Arab crime

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev during a Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting, at the Knesset in Jerusalem on September 13, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Public Security Minister Omer Barlev during a Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee meeting, at the Knesset in Jerusalem on September 13, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Public Security Minister Omer Barlev calls on Israel to take urgent action against the crime epidemic in the Arab community, likening the situation to rampant Palestinian terror attacks that prompted Israel in 2002 to launch a widescale operation to stop them.

“This is a national threat to the State of Israel,” Barlev says in a phone briefing with reporters. “The crime organizations don’t just rule the streets… they control bidding for public projects and have taken over hundreds of millions of shekels in public funds, they threaten some Arab mayors and have even taken over bidding on national contracts.”

“We’ve reached the 11th hour,” he warns. “In 2002, Israel reached a consensus after harsh terror events to launch Operation Defensive Shield, we must also launch a mission to stop this downward spiral.

“The prime minister said that he understands this, and that if additional budgets are needed… the budget will not be an issue,” Barlev says.

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