Bennett and Netanyahu in the Knesset
Bennett and Netanyahu in the Knesset Noam Moskowitz/Knesset spokesperson

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett vowed to end the government's neglect of the Negev during a '40 signatures' debate in the Knesset plenum Monday evening.

"For many years there has been total and systemic neglect of Arab crime in general and crime in the Negev in particular. This neglect has led to a state of utter lawlessness, loss of personal security of the state's citizens and a real sense of lack of governance," Bennett began.

He said, "Since the formation of the government, we have led a fundamental change in the attitude and national and governmental priority on this issue. In the past year there have been over 1,400 activities and operations and we are beginning to see results in the field as well. There is a significant increase of tens of percent in the seizure of firearms compared to last year."

He added that “the year 2021 was a record year in weapons seizures, indictments and arrests. Since the beginning of 2022 we are seeing a decrease of tens of percent in shooting incidents in Arab society. There is a stubborn struggle against the crime families as well. Senior members of the Hariri family, for example, have been arrested and indicted. Others fled abroad and the rest are being dealt with intensively. This neglect will not continue during our term."