Joint Arab List
Joint Arab List Hillel Meir/ TPS

New and returning Knesset members from the Joint Arab List will boycott Thursday's swearing-in ceremony.

MK Ahmad Tibi, who heads the joint list, announced the move at a meeting of the High Follow-Up Committee for Arab Citizens of Israel.

The decision comes in protest of "murders and violence," Tibi said.

"We will be absent from the swearing-in tomorrow, all 13 Knesset members, in protest of the wave of murders and violence and to implement the Committee's decision to hold a general strike tomorrow," he said.

The murder rate among the Arab population is several times higher than the murder rate among the general population, and Israeli Arabs are disproportionately involved in violent crime. In May, Arab Israelis protested the violence within their sector, demanding the Israeli government take steps to reduce it.

MK Shlomo Karhi (Likud) responded: "The violence in the Arab sector is a difficult [issue] and it needs to be a central challenge in the next government."

"But, Joint List MKs? Those who opposed setting up police stations in the sector, who rallied the residents against the collection of weapons, who lecture every day about not integrating (but hey, they recommended [Blue and White Chairman Benny] Gantz...), [and speak] against National Service, [and] against recognition of the State.

"If anything, the Knesset should boycott them."