In the ever-evolving landscape of journalism, a disheartening reality has emerged—one that has seamlessly integrated itself into the fabric of newspapers, websites, and news releases. Unfortunately, the trigger-happy tendencies of murderers have reached alarming heights, resulting in the ruthless spilling of Palestinian blood on the streets. Amidst this mayhem, Arab cities in Israel have become hotbeds of unbridled chaos. Compounding the distressing statistics is the depressingly limited success rate of the Israeli police in solving these murders, painting a significantly grimmer portrait of the situation at hand.
Fear has become a constant companion for Palestinian children in Arab cities, casting a shadow over their daily routines of attending school and engaging in extracurricular activities. Likewise, Palestinian parents find themselves gripped by apprehension, hesitant to venture out for work or even simple shopping trips. Meanwhile, criminal organizations reign with impunity, freely roaming the streets. As the week commences, a bleak milestone is reached, shattering previous records. With a staggering 102 Palestinian lives lost in Arab society in Israeli since the year’s onset, and with this figure bound to rise, 2023 threatens to etch its name as the year marred by an unprecedented surge in criminal terrorism across the nation, an affliction of unparalleled magnitude.
According to Yedioth Ahronoth, the Israeli police has released data revealing the disappointing state of murder investigations in various districts during the years 2022 and 2023. The statistics present a dreadful picture, highlighting the significant failure of the Israeli police to effectively combat the surging crime rates and their inability to solve cases, particularly when comparing outcomes within Jewish and Arab communities. The figures indicate that between the beginning of 2022 and April of this year, a mere 19% of murders against Arabs were successfully resolved, in stark contrast to the significantly higher rate of 75% among the Jewish population. These alarming disparities in murder rates underscore the evident incompetence of decision-makers involved in law enforcement.
The Israeli attorney Pini Fischler received the data from the Israel police as a response to a Freedom of Information Law inquiry. The Hof District, overseen by Commissioner Yoram Sofer, who gained notoriety for employing forceful tactics against protesters in Caesarea and Karkur, has demonstrated a complete lack of competence in addressing crime within the district. In 2022, this district claimed an unfortunate distinction, ranking first in terms of the number of murders, with a total of 39 cases, 29 of which were homicides against the Arab community. District investigators managed to solve only five murders in the Jewish community and six in the Arab one, leaving a staggering 28 cases unresolved. As of mid-April 2023, the district recorded 12 homicides, with nine occurring against Arabs, while only one case has been successfully resolved.
Under the leadership of Avi Biton, who oversees the Sharon, Shfela, and Ben Gurion Airport regions, the Central District of the Israeli police encountered a total of 35 murders in 2022. Among these, 25 took place within the Arab community, while the remaining 10 occurred in the Jewish community. Impressively, the district achieved a commendable success rate by solving 9 out of the 10 murder cases in the Jewish community. However, when it came to the 25 murders in the Arab sector, only five cases were resolved. Moving forward to 2023, the district has experienced 15 homicides thus far. Among them, six were recorded against Jews and nine against Arabs. Notably, the district displayed an almost perfect success rate in solving the murders in the Jewish community, with five indictments issued out of the six murders. However, concerning the nine murders in the Arab community, none have been solved thus far.
The data pertaining to the Northern District in 2022 corresponds to the time when Shimon Lavi was in charge of the district. During this period, there were a total of 24 homicides, with only one occurring in the Jewish community, which has already been resolved. Within Arab society, out of the 23 cases, merely four murders have been solved. Moving on to 2023, Commissioner Shuki Tahauka took command of the district. In that year, there were a total of 15 homicides, two of which took place in the Jewish community. Both of these cases have already been solved. Conversely, in Arab society within the Northern District, not a single murder case from 2023 has been resolved.
Commissioner Peretz Amar, leading the Southern District, witnessed a total of 21 homicides in the year 2022. Among these cases, 14 occurred within Arab society, but only eight have been resolved. In contrast, all seven murders within the Jewish community were successfully solved. This discrepancy highlights a significantly larger gap in the resolution rates between the two societies. Furthermore, out of the nine total homicides in Arab society, eight remain unsolved, while only two cases are yet to be resolved within the Jewish community.
The dismal performance of the police in solving murder cases has drawn sharp criticism from the Israel Bar Association’s Police Committee. Its chairman, Attorney Pini Fischler, slammed the police for failing to protect the public from potential killers who may act with impunity. He called for a thorough overhaul of the police leadership and training, starting from the top brass at the national headquarters and the National Police College. “The data are a certificate of incompetence of the [Israeli] police. Score: ‘Failed’. The low rate of solving murder cases God forbid incentivizes and encourages those who understand that the chances of reaching them after the murder will be low,” he said.