Joint List Boycotts First Knesset Session and Joins Strike over Police Neglect

The Palestinian community in Israel protest against the growing violence within the community and Israeli police negligence. (Photo: via MEMO)

The Palestinian community in Israel is holding a general strike today in an effort to protest against the growing violence within the community and the neglect of the Israeli police towards it, with the Joint List announcing that it will participate in the strike by not attending the Knesset’s opening session.

In a tweet posted yesterday, Member of the Knesset (MK) Dr. Yousef Jabareen announced:

“Tomorrow the Arab community in Israel will hold a general strike. As part of this protest, we in the Joint List will not attend the Knesset opening session.”

The Joint List’s decision to boycott the Knesset session is to show solidarity with the Arab community it represents, as

“We can’t engage in ‘business as usual’ as blood continues to flow in Arab cities with the police refusing to lift a finger.”

In response to the protests and strike by the Arab community, Minister for Public Security Gilad Erdan said that he had agreed to a request from the Joint List – a coalition of four parties mainly consisting of Arab Palestinian ministers – to meet with him on Sunday to discuss the situation.

A command-level emergency meeting will also be organized by Erdan with the Israeli police force today.

The Knesset’s opening session that the Joint List is not attending today consists of the swearing-in of the new Knesset following its election on September 17, which was the original date of the strike in the Arab community. During today’s one-day strike, the local governments within Arab communities will not be providing any municipal services and schools in the areas are to stay closed.

The strike and the Joint List’s participation in it come amid a sharp rise in violence and gun crime within the Arab community in Israel throughout the past few months. In September alone, 13 Arab citizens were killed; four on the same day. Israeli police claimed that the main reason for the high murder rates is the “vendetta culture”, referencing the shooting that was allegedly committed between two men from different families in an ongoing dispute.

(Middle East Monitor, PC, Social Media)

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