Rivlin: Arab leaders must work with police

President says Arab leaders and law enforcement must work together to provide Israeli Arab citizens with sense of security.

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Reuven Rivlin
Reuven Rivlin
Mark Neiman / GPO

Israel’s president called on the country’s law enforcement and Arab leaders to work together to provide a sense of security for all of the country’s Arab citizens.

Reuven Rivlin made the call Monday night during an Iftar feast at the President’s Residence in Jerusalem. The feast marks the end of the days fasting in observance of the Muslim holy month of Ramadan.

Among those who attended the feast were: the president of the Shariya (Muslim Religious) Court of Appeals, the Qadi Abed Alhakim Samara; the Chairman of the Arab Regional Council Heads and Mayor of Sakhnin Mazen Ganim; and Rabbi David Menachem. Also in attendance were the ambassadors to Israel from Egypt, Jordan, Turkey, and Kazakhstan; regional authority heads; and representatives of the IDF, Israel Police, Prison Services, and leading figures in Israeli industry, academics, teachers, and doctors.

Rivlin welcomed those in attendance in Arabic, according to a statement from his office.

"Dear friends, dealing with this plague of violence, is a heavy challenge. It is a challenge that rests upon the shoulders of the government and the police, it is a challenge that rests also upon the Arab leadership in Israel. We will not be able to uproot this violence, without complete cooperation between the sides, between the security and law enforcement forces in the State of Israel, whose duty it is to provide a sense of security to every citizen, and between the Arab political and civilian leadership. The security and well-being of the public must be our key focus. The right of young men and women, to learn and flourish, the right of all our children to grow in safety,” Rivlin told those in attendance.

“In order to build trust, we will be compelled to look to the future. To put our suspicions to the side, and to work together,” he also said.

He said he would be hosting a working meeting between the police leadership and the Arab regional authority heads. “I hope that meeting will be a further step in building confidence and cooperation,” he said adding: “We are dealing with people’s lives.”