The date: Saturday evening, Jan. 25. The time: approximately 8 p.m. A phone call to the emergency center reports briefly on an 8-year-old girl with a head injury. A paramedic at the medical center in the Israeli-Arab town Umm al-Fahm is alerted and he rushes to the home in the village of Muawiya in the Wadi Ara region. When he gets there, he finds a girl sprawled on the grass with a severe head wound. A family member tells him that she was hit by a stray bullet. The medic tries to stop the bleeding and has her evacuated to Rambam Hospital in Haifa. She is in critical condition.
This was just one event out of many that is the direct result of the hoarding and illegal use of weapons among Israeli Arabs. Issawi Frej, Knesset member of the Meretz Party and resident of the northern town of Kfar Qasim, described it like this: “If you don’t have a gun, you don’t exist.” In an interview with Al-Monitor, he said that the situation has become so serious that over the past few months, educated young couples in Arab localities are considering raising one of their sons to be a “thug” so that he can protect his brothers and sisters. “If you don’t have a thug,” he said, “you could be humiliated.”