TEL AVIV – An Arab Muslim was appointed Wednesday as Deputy Commissioner of the Israeli police, the second highest rank in the force.
Dep.-Ch. Jamal Hakrush, from the Arab town of Kafr Kana north of Nazareth, is to head a special police branch focusing on issues facing the crime-plagued Arab sector, with special emphasis on providing additional police services and recruiting more Arab police officers.
Hakrush, who is currently the deputy head of the Coastal District, previously served as the deputy head of the Traffic Police. He will oversee policing in Arab communities where there is longstanding distrust of law enforcement.
Hakrush will also be charged with cracking down on illegal weapons in the Arab community.
Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich praised Hakrush at Wednesday’s ceremony and called on other Arab Israelis to join the police force.
Alsheich announced a new initiative to fight the “frighteningly high” rates of domestic violence, murder, illegal weapons possession, and other crimes in the Arab sector, which includes recruiting some 1,300 new officers and building several new stations in Arab population centers.