More than a thousand people demonstrated, Friday, near Nazareth in the Palestinian interior, to protest the spread of crime and the inaction of the Israeli police, a day after 5 people were killed in a shooting at a car wash station.
According to Agence France-Presse, the five dead were from Yafa Nazareth and were shot dead on Thursday in the town to the west of the city of Nazareth, in the midst of the worst wave of crime in years.
The demonstrators marched through Yafa Nazareth on Friday, carrying black and white flags stained red, and banners reading “We have the right to live in security” and “Finish.”
The local council declared mourning and a general strike for 3 days, while the funeral of two of the dead was held on Friday in the Melkite Roman Catholic Church in the town.
After the shooting that took place on Thursday, the number of Palestinians killed in the violence rose to about 100.
After the shooting, the police announced that they had “arrested 11 people,” noting that “one or more” opened fire on a group of men at a car wash, while another police official suggested that what happened was part of a gang war.
For his part, the head of the local council in Yafa an-Nazareth, Maher Khalilah, described the shooting as a “massacre,” blaming the police for their inaction.
According to Agence France-Presse, experts say that Arab gangs have collected large amounts of illegal weapons over the past two decades and are involved in drug, arms and human trafficking, prostitution, extortion and money laundering.
The Palestinians of the interior have long complained of discrimination and the police’s failure to deal with violence and crime in their society, noting that they constitute about 20% of the population and are the children and grandchildren of Palestinians who remained in their lands on which the State of Israel was established following the 1948 Nakba.