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Israeli-Arab bereaved mothers protest pandemic of violence, crime

Israeli-Arab bereaved mothers started marching this week from Haifa to Jerusalem, to raise awareness of violence in Arab society.

The helicopter disaster on Feb. 4, 1997, left 73 Israeli troops dead. It also led to the creation of Four Mothers, a movement founded by four Israeli women with sons serving in Lebanon, to protest the ongoing Israeli presence in that country and to call for an immediate withdrawal, with or without an agreement with the Lebanese government. It took three years since the movement was founded, but by May 25, 2000, all Israeli troops had returned home, following a decision by then-Prime Minister Ehud Barak.

Just over two decades later, Israel is witnessing the creation of a new protest movement, this one by Arab mothers of victims of the wave of violence and crime that has swept Arab society over the past few years. The purpose of their protests is to raise public awareness of this violence and put the problem on the national agenda, so that it can finally be tackled and resolved.

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