Palestinian town Umm Al-Fahm goes on strike over Israel gun violence

Palestinian town Umm Al-Fahm goes on strike over Israel gun violence
Umm Al-Fahm's municipality council agreed to stage a one-day strike on Thursday, following a sit-in outside an Israeli police station to protest negligence over gun violence in Palestinian towns.
2 min read
21 October, 2021
Umm Al Fahm, a Palestinian city whose population is just over 56,000, saw three young men fatally shot last week [Getty]

A Palestinian town within Israel's 1948 borders have gone on strike, saying Israeli police are ignoring gun violence in their community. 

Umm Al-Fahm authorities agreed to stage a one-day general strike on Thursday to protest the continued murders of Palestinians in the community after three young men were fatally shot last week, bringing the number of gun crime murders in the area this year up to eight.

During an emergency session on Wednesday, the municipality's council discussed ways to address the murders that took place in the city, as Israeli police allegedly refuse to intervene in the crime wave.

Shops, public and private institutions, and schools, with the exception of private education, agreed to go on strike on Thursday, along with a sit-in in front of the Israeli police station on Saturday.

The United Al-Fahmawi Movement, a local activist group, also called for a "Friday of Rage" protest.

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The action comes just days after a man became the 100th Palestinian killed by gun violence in Israel this year, after he was shot dead in the town of Bi'na.

A parliamentary report in August revealed that male Palestinian citizens of Israel aged over 25 are 36 times more likely to fall victim to gun violence than their Jewish Israeli counterparts.

Those living in a predominantly Palestinian area were 30 times more likely to be a victim of gun crime than those living in Jewish neighbourhoods, according to the study.

Gun violence in the indigenous Palestinian community in Israel accounts for over 60 percent of all murder victims nationwide despite making up just over 20 percent of the population.

There are more than 400,000 illegal weapons among Palestinian citizens of Israel, who number just over two million.

Israeli authorities have consistently drawn criticism for allegedly failing to tackle intra-Palestinian violence within Israel's 1948 boundaries.

Palestinians in Israel face systematic discrimination and regularly complain of being treated as second-class citizens.

Large segments of the Israeli public see Palestinian citizens as a demographic threat to Israel's "Jewish identity", with discrimination entrenched across housing, public services, education, and employment.

Palestinian citizens of Israel are often at odds with the Israeli police - an institution they believe is doing little to stop the gun crime epidemic within their community.