Survey of Attitudes of the Residents of Umm El-Fahm

Cite As:
Nohad Ali. Survey of Attitudes of the Residents of Umm El-Fahm Haifa Israel: Samuel Neaman Institute, 2022.

A survey of personal and community security was conducted in the city of Umm al-Fahm during the months of November-December 2021. The survey dealt with the personal security of residents of the city, their relationship to and with the police, and examined the satisfaction of the inhabitants of the city with the City Council and its departments in general, and with the eradication of violence, in particular. The population included in the survey was the adult inhabitants of the city.

The following conclusions emerged from the survey:

  • The residents of Umm al-Fahm are exceedingly concerned about the prevalence of violence (general violence, crime, gunshots, and the use of weapons), and are least concerned with the political phenomena linked to the Arab population (stalemate in the peace process between Israel and the Palestinians, inequality between Jews and Arabs in Israel, and the state of democracy in Israel).
  • Inhabitants of the city expressed their greatest fear of being injured due to violent crime and their least fear of injury through sexual crimes. It is possible that this is explained, among other things, also by the minimal injuries in practice, from sexual crimes, and much more, from violent crimes (use of cold or hot weapons).
  • A majority of the inhabitants of Umm al-Fahm feel a lack of personal security in their city. The area that arouses the greatest feelings of insecurity among the inhabitants is the streets; the least insecurity is felt in personal homes.
  • A majority of the inhabitants of the city who experienced violence did not know the attacker. Among those who did know the attacker, the majority stated that it was a person not included in defined categories (stranger, neighbor, acquaintance, family member or work mate).
  • The great majority of the city’s inhabitants (97%) reported an increase in the level of violence in the city compared to previous years.
  • Regarding attitudes toward hot weapons, the city’s inhabitants were most in agreement when relating to the city itself, and less so regarding more general frameworks -- related both to the ease of obtaining hot weapons and to their increased use. The most common factor in the use of hot weapons that was mentioned, was the light punishment for violent crimes, while the least common factor mentioned was the minimal presence of police.
  • Regarding actions to reduce the violence, the inhabitants of the city saw the greatest importance was attached to making the punishment for violent crime more severe, and the least important action was improving relations with the police.
  • More than half of the inhabitants of the city are prepared to take only minimal part in the fight against violence in the city.
  • The respondents were most satisfied with their own families, and least satisfied, with Israeli police, with regard to the effectiveness of actions to reduce violence. Regarding relations with the police, only a third indicated that their treatment by the police in their last contact with them was good or very good. A higher level of satisfaction with the police was found with regard to implementation of Corona rules – while the least satisfaction related to dealing with extortion of protection payments.
  • The interviewees in the survey expressed the most willingness to report on victims of violent crime, and the least willingness, to report on sex crimes. A majority of those who responded to our survey noted that they would turn to those who are not the police during injury from violent crime.
  • And finally, fewer than a tenth of those surveyed expressed some trust, or great trust, in the police.

The respondents in the survey also related to the actions of the City Council toward violence in the city.

  • The greatest degree of satisfaction with the City Council was recorded regarding the level of general education in the city, and the last degree of satisfaction, with the city police.
  • The level of general education was also stated as the most significant area for potentially reducing the level of violence in the city. In contrast, the improvement of cleanliness and trash removal was according to respondents the least important factor for reducing violence in the city.
  • Regarding violence in the community, around two thirds of the respondents reported that neither they nor members of their families were injured by violence in the city.
  • In addition, around 46% of the respondents do not make purchases outside the city, but an additional 41.4% do prefer at times to make purchases outside Umm al-Fahm, because of the rising violence in the city.

The results of our survey raise a complex picture related to violence in this community. It appears that violence in the city occurs to such a great extent, that violence and crime and their perpetrators are phenomena that are most worrisome and cause the greatest fears of the inhabitants. In contrast, it appears that trust in government institutions is low, and is liable to be an obstacle in everything related to collaboration with the inhabitants, for the purpose of defeating violence in the city.

* For the accessible report please read the file 'Aum Alfahim_Accessible file' 

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