By: GPO Staff
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, on Thursday held an assessment of the situation at the Border Police headquarters in Lod. Participating in the discussion were the Public Security Minister, the Mayor of Lod, the Inspector General of the Israel Police, the commander of the Border Police, the head of the National Security Council, the Acting Director General of the Prime Minister’s Office, the Director General of the Public Security Ministry, the Attorney General, the head of the ISA, the Prime Minister’s Military Secretary and other senior officials.
Following the assessment, Netanyahu said:
“We have just finished a command group, as you could call it, with the most senior security officials: The Public Security Minister, the Inspector General of the Israel Police, head of the ISA, the Attorney General, the commander of the Border Police and other officials. Our goal is to achieve results and achieve them quickly.
We need to restore quiet and security for the citizens of Israel and this starts and ends with backing our soldiers. They will receive full backing. We have told them: ‘We hear whisperings of concern over commissions of inquiry, investigations and checks.’ We will give you all of the tools to defend yourselves, defend the citizens of Israel and prevent disturbances. You have the backing, do not be concerned. This is the first point and I believe the most important.
We also went over other points and it is important to me to list them quickly: One, there is unprecedented cooperation here between the ISA, the Israel Police and the legal authorities. They all understand there is not an ordinary criminal event here even though many criminal elements are involved. There are law-breaking elements here that are, in effect, violating the framework of the State of Israel; therefore, against such a threat it is possible to use administrative detentions and other detentions as well for the rioters. We have put this into high gear; this is the second thing.
The third thing is the mobilization of reservists that will be completed in the coming hours. There is also the possibility of using IDF soldiers.
I brought clear examples that this is being done in other countries, in the US, UK, France and in the State of Israel as well. The late Yitzhak Rabin brought in IDF forces on Land Day for disturbances very similar to what we are seeing here: In Arraba, Sakhnin, Taybe and elsewhere.
We have this right. We have just brought in military forces to help with the lockdowns, to help the police. Now, of course with the pandemic, with the coronavirus and do not forget the disengagement. We have used IDF forces for such goals and others. But what goal is more correct than that of preventing these disturbances and this violence?
Therefore, to the extent that it is necessary, the [Israel Police] Inspector General has already released various means for action: Clubs, Rugers, water cannons, all of these things that are used and this use is permitted because right now we have no greater threat than these disturbances and this is vital for restoring law and order with these means.
Seeking contact – We do not intend to leave people concentrated in groups. These Border Police soldiers and Israel Police officers will deploy in the neighborhoods and places where it is necessary. True, forces are lacking. Because of this we have also brought in the soldiers here. But we will do everything in our power to give you the means, the capabilities, the deployment and the backing. These are the important things that I wanted to say.
I cannot tell you that we are not facing escalation. The intelligence that we have says that it could very well be that we will have an upsurge of violence here in the coming days. It could be that blows will be exchanged here. It is always like this; in putting down rioters one needs to use force, a lot of force. We will use it while giving full backing to the Israel Police and the soldiers of the Border Police.”