Photo courtesy of We Want to Live
Gun violence and murders in Israel’s Palestinian towns are on the rise – a spree of horrific murders in several towns over the last few weeks have pushed the death toll for 2023 to over 100, among them a number of children. People are afraid to walk out of their own homes. They are afraid to send their children to school, to the store, to a pizza shop.
Shatil and NIF’s partners on the ground, primarily the National Committee for Heads of Arab Local Authorities (NCHALA), have launched a campaign called “We Want to Live,” and have already held a number of demonstrations to protest the inaction of the government, specifically Minister of National Security Itamar Ben Gvir, who is in charge of the police, and the police themselves – it is their inaction and unwillingness to bring criminals with guns to justice that is making the Arab streets in Israel unsafe for everyday people.
Last week, hundreds took to the streets— both Jews and Arabs — to demonstrate with the “We want to Live” campaign. Another mass protest is scheduled for this Saturday, June 24, in central Haifa. The goal is to show the Israeli Jewish public that this struggle against criminal organizations is not just the struggle of the Arab community; when citizens are dying in the streets, no matter their ethnicity, it is a struggle that belongs to everyone.