The events of Kfar Qassem during Shabbat, as well as the statements of Police Commissioner Ranatz Shabtai and Minister of Internal Security Amar Bar-Lev, will constitute one of the test points of the police and the government in relation to the rising violence in Arab society.
A police force that arrived to carry out enforcement activities and arrest suspects in the Kfar Qassem municipality building was violently attacked. The officers suffered beatings, swearing, urgency and an attempted strangulation and two were lightly injured. The attackers are not “marginal youth” or come from welfare families, but an internal security force operating in the city under the auspices of the Islamic Movement. This is a body called “Al-Hirasa”, a security force that acts as an internal militia in Kafr Qassem.
Last night (Saturday night) Commissioner Shabtai spoke with police officers involved in the incident, updated them on the arrest of four of the attackers and said he backs the police officers to act in accordance with the law with the means at their disposal. In Kafr Qassem. I have instructed the District and Space Command to act decisively and firmly and lay hands on all who took part in the event, and we will make available to them all the means and forces required. We will not accept a situation in which police officers who come to perform their duties are harmed. “
Minister Bar-Lev also commented on the events, saying: “The State of Israel is the sovereign and the police is its mission and its role is to maintain public peace.
Prime Minister Naftali Bennett demanded that the leaders of the Arab sector condemn the rioters. “I expect the Arab society, which asks the state to intervene, to give the police all the support and backing.”
Ra’am chairman MK Mansour Abbas also called for the issue and wrote in a statement issued: “I expressed unequivocal condemnation to Police Commissioner Major General Kobi Shabtai. “
Last January, when a number of boys threw a stone at a police car in Bnei Brak, the police knew how to react forcefully. Troops entered the city in the dead of night, hurled stun grenades and took control of several streets in the city, even though the attackers themselves had already fled the area.
This is a test time for the Israel Police, whether it will know how to use its power as it did in Bnei Brak or elsewhere, or whether, as in other cases in Arab society, it will prefer that the public forget and remain silent until next time.