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Israeli Arab voters desperate over rising crime, police attitudes

Can Arab politician Mansour Abbas harness public anger against crime to the extent that his Raam party can pass the Knesset threshold and win four seats?

Demonstrations against crime in Israeli Arab towns and villages continue. Many people say police and authorities are doing little to cope with a phenomenon that has cost the lives of many in recent years.

An especially large demonstration took place Feb. 26 in the town of Umm al-Fahm. During that protest, altercations broke out between demonstrators and police. The police reaction led to the wounding of Mayor Samir Mahamid, Arab Knesset member Youssef Jabareen and 35 others. Demonstrators then accused police of using excessive force against them, including the use of tear gas, rubber-coated bullets and stun grenades.

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