Muslim officer promoted in Israel

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Jamal Hakrush made history in Israel when he was presented by Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan with his new rank of Deputy Commissioner. This will not be a big deal in any other city, but Jamal is an Israeli Arab, making him a Muslim with the highest official rank in Israel ever. The naming of Jamal Hakrush happened on April 14.

Roughly a quarter of Israeli’s population is Israeli Arabs. Jamal’s first mission will be to improve policing service in Israeli´s Arabs neighborhoods. He will also be responsible for establishing new stations to protect Israeli Arab citizens.

Gilad Erdan called this a historic event. “We cannot look at the Arab society in Israel with the violence and crime in its midst, with a clear conscience", Erdan said. "Until this day, we have not provided the Arab sector with equal law enforcement capabilities."

Jamal Hakrush, as deputy commissioner, the second highest rank in the force, will be leading a new police division.  There is plenty of work waiting for the new major general as there have historically been complaints from Arab communities of discrimination and persecution. Having a Muslim become the second in command brings new hope to these Arab communities that policing will improve in their favor.

Hakrush joined the police force in 1978. He is originally from the village of Karf Kanna in Galilee.  He has been in police stations of three Israeli cities as Chief and was the deputy commander of the coastal region.

Commissioner Roni Alsheic, who attended the swearing-in ceremony, expressed his hopes in increasing the number of police stations in Arab communities. He said, “There is a strong desire to strengthen policing in the Arab community. I met dozens of leaders of Arab local councils and discovered that there was great willingness.”


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