Major General Jamal Hakroosh has risen in the ranks in Israel’s police force over an esteemed 40-year career.
By United with Israel Staff
Major General Jamal Hakroosh, Head of the Directorate for the Development of Policing Services for the Arab Israeli Population, spoke at the World Conference against Discrimination and Racism at the United Nations in Geneva, December 4. He is the first Muslim Major General in the Israeli National Police.
Hakroosh represented Israel’s Ministry of Public Security and the Israel National Police. He briefed those in attendance about the opportunities Israel provides to every citizens, regardless of race or religion. He explained that throughout his career in the Israel National Police, he has been able to help the Arab community throughout the country.
In the speech, which was disseminated in English to the press, Hakroosh intoned, “I, Jamal Hakroosh, a citizen of the state of Israel, Arab, Muslim, was born in Kfar Qana, in the North of Israel,” reported The Jerusalem Post. He went on to explain that 40 years ago Arabs were educated only in their villages, which led to minimal opportunities for professional development.
“[Today] virtually all Arab young people complete their high school studies in the village, and the majority continue to university-level studies,” Hakroosh said. “This is a very important change that took place in Arab society, to the benefit of Arab young men and women.”
At the age of 20, Hakroosh decided to “become an ambassador for my people and for my generation.” This led him to join the Israeli police force. At the time, he was the only Muslim policeman.
“It was not easy to accept me, a Muslim Arab, as commander during sensitive and difficult events such as those that the Israeli public has been through,” Hakroosh said. “Not only criminal events, but also security and terror-related – our country has seen many of those events.”
Through determination and perseverance, Hakroosh rose in the ranks. “I was the commander of three big police stations, providing policing services to Arab and Jewish citizens alike.”
He praised Israel for its equal rights of all citizens. “This is the place to highlight that the Israel police is a decent institution, that opens doors before every citizen in the country, regardless of their background or religion,” Hakroosh continued. “I must take this opportunity and say, that not only did the Israel police open doors to an Arab citizen, but also my friends and colleagues of my generation can now be found among directors of medical wards in Israeli hospitals, and lecturers in Israeli universities. Meanwhile, thousands more Arab students are enrolled in Israeli universities.”
The Major General said that, in the last two years, eight police stations have been added to Arab towns with a goal of another 10 being established over the next three years. More than 600 young Arab men and 55 young Arab women have joined the police, he said.
“This is the revolution and the change that we aspired to reach,” Hakroosh explained, according to the Post. “This is what is happening in the Israeli police: equality for every citizen, open doors for every citizen. Today you will be able to see an Arab Muslim policewoman supplying policing services to an Arab citizen. Something like this is unprecedented.”
Hakroosh began his 40 year career as a patrolman. In 2002, be became a commanding office. In 2013 he earned the rank of Brigadier General and in 2016 he reached his present position as a Major General. He holds a BA in Political Science from Haifa University.
“Your ears are hearing about the changes in the Israel Police for the benefit of equality and justice to the Arab citizen, and your eyes can see the change standing before you – and it is me, a Muslim Arab, who reached the highest position in the Israel Police, the highest rank – one below the General Commander of the police,” he concluded.
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