Israel Police to set up ‘Jewish terror’ unit in West Bank
Rejecting all provisions of a ministerial report but one, Netanyahu decided to form a special police unit tasked with foiling attacks by Jewish extremists in the West Bank.
A new department in the Judea and Samaria District Police will be formed to deal with Jewish terrorists, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu decided on Wednesday. This unit is set to play a key role in the fight against attacks perpetrated by right-wing ideologues in the West Bank.
The decision was made after the premier met with a ministerial panel that was set up in December to propose ways to deal with so-called Jewish terror, following attacks by right-wing activists on an Israel Defense Forces base in the northern West Bank. All the other proposals made by the team were rejected, leaving only the suggestion to boost the police’s technological and administrative tools to confront the phenomenon.
The Israel Police plans to appoint a commander as the head of the Judea and Samaria District (as opposed to a chief superintendent today), increase the unit’s manpower and invest in technological resources. Staffed with dozens of policemen and officers, the new department within the unit will be devoted solely to dealing with “Jewish terror.”
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino attended the inauguration of a new police station in the West Bank’s Binyamin District on Wednesday. Aharonovitch stressed at the event that the police will not allow anyone to take advantage of the period leading up to the general elections, planned for January next year, to disturb public order.
Last December, dozens of right-wing activists infiltrated the base of the Ephraim District Brigade near Qalqilyah. They damaged military vehicles, burned tires and threw stones at brigade commander Col. Ron Kahana and his deputy, who was lightly wounded by a stone that hit him in the head. Police and IDF soldiers fought off the rioters, but only one person was arrested.
Concurrently with the rioting on the base, right-wing activists blocked the nearby Route 55 and threw stones at passing Palestinian cars.
After these incidents, the State Prosecution charged five right-wing activists with collecting information about IDF activities and conspiring to raid the district brigade base. The precedent-setting indictment was issued under a clause of the British Mandate-era Emergency Ordinance that had never been invoked before.
The five activists are scheduled to appear before a court next week.