April 13, 2024
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Israel’s Police Chief in Hot Seat For Likening Both Arab and Jewish Rioters to ‘Terrorists’

(Israel Hayom via JNS) Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai sparked an uproar during a visit to the embattled city of Lod in central Israel when he called both Arab and Jewish rioters “terrorists.”

“We will bring anyone who disrupted the public order and engaged in vandalism to justice. It doesn’t matter right now if they were Jews or Arabs. We will bring all the terrorists to justice, from both sides. From my perspective, these are people who disrupted the peace and quiet for us all, and our job is to expel this crowd from society,” said Shabtai.

Shortly after the comments, Israel’s Public Security Minister Amir Ohana (Likud) lambasted the police chief: “An outrageous statement by the commissioner that should never have been made. To treat the problem we must acknowledge it: Arab rioters attacked Jews, police officers, synagogues. The policy is to be aggressive against rioters and terrorists. There is not and never has been symmetry. Yes, a handful of people also attacked Arabs; they will be dealt with harshly. From here to ‘both sides’—the distance is very far.”

Yamina Knesset member Ayelet Shaked said: “Your statement regarding belligerents from both sides is detached from the reality on the ground. Burned synagogues, burned apartments belonging to Jews and Jewish residents fearing and dreading the neighbors in their building. Sweeping the problems of mixed cities under the rug won’t solve them; a determined and aggressive operation to collect [illegal] firearms will.”

 

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