Crime in Israel
Organised crime has increased dramatically in Israel since the 1990s and is described by the BBC and the Israeli Police as a "booming industry". The Israeli organised crime groups have extended their activities in foreign countries like the United States, South Africa, and the Netherlands. According to a report by the Israel Police, drug trafficking, trafficking of women for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, illicit gambling, pirate filling stations and real estate are the major forms of crime in the country.
In 2002, the Israel Police documented 464,854 criminal files and non-prosecution cases while the number was 484,688 in 2003. This was an increase of 4.5% over 2002.
Crimes in Israel by Palestinians
Director of the Latin American Institute of the American Jewish Committee in Washington, D.C. Dina Siegel, criminology professor H. G. van de Bunt, and lecturer in criminology Damián Zaitch showed in their book Global Organized Crime that a significant amount of crime in Israel, especially property crime, is committed by the residents of the Palestinian National Authority (PNA or PA). Motor vehicle theft is a major crime committed by Palestinians. Since the early 1990s, there has been an increase in the rate of robberies in Israel. Between 1994 and 2001, the rate of robberies increased from 14.0 to 30.6 cases per 100,000 population. The reason behind this increase in robberies is analyzed as a result of the establishment of the Palestinian Authority in the West Bank and Gaza Strip which according to the book Global Organized Crime "serves as a safe haven for Palestinian offenders". However, the organized crime industry associated with motor vehicle theft involves not only Palestinians, but also Israeli citizens, both Jewish and Arab. The parts of the stolen cars are removed in "chop shops" in the Palestinian territories and then these vehicles are sold in the black market in Israel. Media reports suggest some of these vehicles are even handed over to high-ranking Palestinian Authority officials. It was reported that since the beginning of 2010 through the end of February 2010, the Palestinian Authority police have destroyed 910 stolen cars.
Although Palestinian criminals are involved in organized crime in the country, Siegel et al. suggested one should not conclude that "organized crime in Israel is dominated by Palestinians. Organized crime committed by Jews or other non-Palestinians has been part of the Israeli crime scene for many years".
In addition to car theft, many cases of rape committed in Israel by West Bank Palestinians, many of them illegally residing in Israel, have been documented, and numerous Palestinians have been arrested for rape in Israel.
Drugs in Israel
Juvenile victims and perpetrators
Violence against minors is also a problem in Israel. In 1999, approximately 7,000 cases of crimes against minors were documented which included physical assault (54%), molestation (37%) and repeated physical victimization (9%). However, Israeli minors are not solely the victims of crime, they are also sometimes the perpetrators. Teenage violence in schools is a problem in Israel; the first major study on teenage crime in the nation by T. Horowitz and M. Amir in 1981 indicated three major forms of violence in Israeli schools: theft, breaking and entering, and vandalism. Studies have suggested that Israeli Arab youth are more violent than Jews in the country, a fact which academics attribute to cultural, social, and economic differences.
In Israel the homicide rate produced by criminal activities is relatively low: 2.4 killed per 100,000 inhabitants in a year (in Switzerland the number is 0.71, in Russia is 14.9, in South Africa is 34, in Venezuela is 49). In 2009, 135 people were murdered in Israel. Two major motivations for homicide in Israel are violence against women (including honor killings in Muslim families) and politically motivated violence i.e. Arab terrorism against Israelis.
In Israel, street crime is rare. Crime rates are quite evenly spread across the country, albeit with some "bad" neighbourhoods in the larger towns.
Far-right and hate-crimes
In September 2007, eight white supremacists sporting tattoos including the number 88 (code for Heil Hitler because "H" is the eighth letter of the alphabet) from Petah Tikva were arrested after a year of being observed desecrating synagogues, giving Nazi salutes in the street, attacking religious Jews, collected weapons explosives and Nazi propaganda and making a video. They were immigrants from Russia, and only one was fully Jewish. The rest had been allowed to immigrate due to some Jewish ancestry, but were not fully Jewish.
- Israel struggles to keep lid on crime BBC News
- Dina Siegel, H. G. van de Bunt, Damián Zaitch (2003). Global Organized Crime: Trends and Developments. Springer. p. 147. ISBN 1-4020-1818-5.
- Crime in Israel – in 2003 Israel Police
- Dina Siegel, H. G. van de Bunt, Damián Zaitch (2003). Global Organized Crime: Trends and Developments. Springer. p. 145. ISBN 1-4020-1818-5.
- Dina Siegel, H. G. van de Bunt, Damián Zaitch (2003). Global Organized Crime: Trends and Developments. Springer. p. 146. ISBN 1-4020-1818-5.
- "Nablus police destroys 498 illegal cars, dismantle explosive". Ma'am. 20 February 2010.
- Florence Denmark, Leonore Loeb Adler, Melvin Ember (2004). International Perspectives on Violence. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 139. ISBN 0-275-97498-7.
- Florence Denmark, Leonore Loeb Adler, Melvin Ember (2004). International Perspectives on Violence. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 141. ISBN 0-275-97498-7.
- Florence Denmark, Leonore Loeb Adler, Melvin Ember (2004). International Perspectives on Violence. Greenwood Publishing Group. p. 143. ISBN 0-275-97498-7.
- List of countries by intentional homicide rate
- Israeli 'neo-Nazi gang' arrested BBC 9 September 2007.