In recent years, the Arab Palestinian society in Israel has experienced a significant rise in violence occurring within the community, resulting in the deaths of hundreds and causing injury to thousands. Despite widespread alarm and condemnation of the violence, there is a paucity of reliable data and evidence-based analysis of the phenomenon. In June 2020, Baladna – Association for Arab Youth, in cooperation with Coventry University in the United Kingdom, published a report to shed light on the nature and scope of the violent situation.
Entitled “Nine Years of Bloodshed,” the report examines homicide cases within the community between 2011 and 2019. In total, 575 homicides were reported over the course of the nine years. Following a decrease in the number of murders in 2016, the rate has increased considerably in recently years. In 2019, 85 murder cases were reported, marking a 60% increase from 2016 and the most homicide deaths in the community since 1948.
The number of homicides in the Arab Palestinian society are particularly high when compared with other population groups. In 2018, for example, the murder rate was more than five times the rate in the West Bank and eight times the rate among Jewish Israelis.
The report makes clear the significant impact of the violent situation on Arab Palestinian youth, with young people under the age of 30 constituting almost half of the murder victims. The youth homicide rate was notably higher among women/girls, 53% of whom were below the age of 34 (compared to 47 among men/boys). In general, males were more likely to be killed and comprised 83.7% of all murder victims, with females constituting the remaining 16.3%.
In addition to data on gender and age, the report compares rates on different geographic regions and cities over time. The Center and the Southern Triangle had the highest rates. The North showed cause for concern, as well, with a 243% increase in homicides between 2018 and 2019. The report also provides data on the weapons used, finding that 74% murder deaths were the result of firearms.
Over the course of the rest of 2020, Baladna and Coventry University will use this report as a starting point for research aimed at understanding the social, political, and economic factors underlying this violent reality. After completing case studies in five localities and compiling and disseminating the findings, Baladna will launch a series of strategy sessions in 2021 to devise evidence-based solutions to the problem and its impact on Arab Palestinian youth.
To read the full report, click here.