Israeli Arab Leadership Declares Strike Over Lax Police Response to Violent Crime

The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee in Israel has declared a general strike for Thursday in protest at what it claims is police inaction in the face of violent crime in Israeli Arab communities, which most recently included a double murder in the northern Arab town of Majdal Krum on Tuesday.

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In response to Arab community protests, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that he had agreed to a request from representatives of the largely Arab Joint List Knesset faction to meet with him on Sunday over the situation. Erdan will also hold a command-level emergency meeting with the Israel Police on Thursday on the matter.

The Joint List faction announced that its Knesset members would not attend Thursday's swearing in of the new Knesset, which was elected on September 17, the day of the planned strike in the Arab community. During Thursday's one-day strike, local governments in Arab communities are not expected to provide municipal services and schools in the communities are slated to be closed. 

Joint List chairman Ayman Odeh, right, and Joint list Knesset member Ahmad Tibi at the Knesset.Olivier Fitoussi

The Higher Arab Monitoring Committee includes representatives from all of the parties and political movements in the Israeli Arab community, including the Joint List Knesset members and the heads of local governments.

Erdan's office said he would be meeting with Joint List Knesset members Ayman Odeh, Ahmad Tibi and Mtanes Shehadeh to brief them on steps that he said would be taken immediately, including what was described as "deploying forces in Arab communities."