Israel Appoints Arab Police Officer as Deputy Commissioner

Those accusing Israel of being an apartheid state may be perplexed over the appointment of an Israeli Arab as deputy police commissioner, ranking him second to the national police chief.

Gamal Hakroosh, 59, a Muslim, will oversee police forces in Arab neighborhoods in Jerusalem, where officers have often been targeted by rocks and firebombs.

Hakroosh received the promotion at police headquarters in Tel Aviv, surrounded by his family and fellow officers. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan told the crowd at Wednesday’s ceremony the Arab sector had often not been granted equal law enforcement services, saying that inequality will be a thing of the past.

Speaking to The Associated Press, Hakroosh said police should also stand behind its Arab citizens.

“The police’s job is to serve the people and among the people is the Arab citizen, the Arab Israeli citizen, and he deserves service,” he said. “He deserves that the police stand beside him.”

The promotion is part of a five-year plan approved by the cabinet to improve law enforcement to troubled Arab neighborhoods in the capital’s eastern sector.

In line with improving the standard of living in predominantly Arab neighborhoods, the plan calls for construction of new police stations and the addition of many more officers to serve these residents.

In what some saw as a rebuke of Hakrook’s promotion, Arab Knesset members were noticeably absent from the swearing-in ceremony.

Israel’s Arab Knesset members do many things that would be considered traitorous in other Western countries.

This past February, three MKs – Haneen Zoabi, Jamal Zalka and Basel Ghattas, all members of the Balad Party, met with the families of Arab terrorists who were killed while carrying out attacks against Israelis.

Zoabi, who frequently joins anti-Israel protests, traveled with pro-Palestinian activists aboard the Turkish-owned flagship Mavi Marmaraleading a flotilla to breach Israel’s naval blockade of the Gaza Strip.

Former Balad MK Azmi Bishara is in self-imposed exile after providing Hezbollah with logistical information while Israel was fighting the Second Lebanon War in the summer of 2006. In 2008, the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) accused Bishara of actively recruiting for Hezbollah.

The newly appointed deputy commissioner, who grew up in the Arab town of Kfar Kana in northern Israel, joined the Israel Police in 1978. His appointment comes as Israel sees a decline in terror after seven months of stabbing, vehicular and firebomb attacks against its populace.

This story originally appeared on CBN News, April 14, 2016.