Bedouin Leaders Condemn Violence, Urge Coexistence Following Terror Killing of Soldier

Following the arrest of two Bedouin Israelis for the murder on Friday of an Israeli soldier, Sgt. Ron Kokia, the leaders of several Bedouin communities condemned terror and called for coexistence as they met with the mayor of Arad, The Times of Israel reported Tuesday.

The mayors and council leaders of the Bedouin communities of Rahat, Hura, Ar’ara Banegev, and Al-Kasom met with Mayor Nissan Ben Hamo of Arad, the southern Israeli city in which the murder took place.

“We denounce the attack and we are against violence,” Rahat mayor, Talal al-Krenawi, said. “Don’t let this grave incident harm the coexistence between us. We are in favor of tolerance and call on all the young people not to resort to violence. We must work together and live together; this is my country, as it is yours.”

“This incident shocked everyone,” Muhammad al-Nabari, the mayor of Hura, said. “A clear statement must be made from [Bedouin] society and it must be denounced. We are with you all the way, and we have proved in various other meetings that we are working toward a common goal.”

Ben Hamo welcomed the remarks and said, “It strengthens us that you came and are condemning this grave incident and are standing with us.”

Following a deadly terrorist attack in Beersheba two years ago, al-Nabari and al-Krenawi also condemned the violence.

“We call upon all the residents of the Negev, Arabs and Jews, to preserve and protect the relations between the two peoples for the benefit of us all,” al-Nabari said at the time. “We pray for better and quieter days in which all the citizens of the country live together in peace.”

Al-Krenawi said, “we live in the Negev, Bedouins and Jews, as brothers.”

[Photo: טלאל אלקרנאוי / YouTube ]