Israel Police struggling to suppress Jewish extremists in West Bank, says senior officer
More than 228 incidents of attacks by right-wing activists recorded in last year, with 65 indictments served on charges of account and vandalism, but police hard-pressed to gather sufficient evidence due to location of crimes.
Israel Police has been unsuccessful in running its agents in the West Bank, a senior police officer said Thursday, adding that officers have been struggling to gather evidence on crimes committed by right-wing activists.
Haim Rahamim, head of the investigations and intelligence wing of the Judea and Samaria District in the West Bank, made the statement during a discussion at the Knesset's Constitution, Law, and Justice Committee on law enforcement in the territories.
Rahamim told the committee that over the past year 228 incidents of attacks by right-wing activists on security forces were recorded - not including verbal threats - and that dozens of mosques were set alight. He added that 65 indictments were served against rightist activists on charges of assault and vandalism.
"Ten people were arrested, but they were not indicted so they were released," said Rahamim. "We have a problem with gathering evidence due to the location of where the crimes are committed."
MK David Rotem, the head of the Knesset committee, said during the discussion that he expects that the police and other law enforcement authorities will use the tools that the law gives them in order to fight against law-breakers, and to refrain from using administrative orders.
Earlier Thursday, the Israel Defense Forces announced the temporary expulsion of 12 right-wing extremists from the West Bank over suspicions they orchestrated and executed clandestine violent attacks against Palestinians.
News of the activists’ imminent expulsion came after Haaretz reported on Tuesday that the State Prosecutor's Office intended to indict eight right-wing activists for allegedly tracking IDF activities in the region in the West Bank.
GOC Central Command Avi Mizrahi ordered that 12 right-wing activists be notified of their temporary expulsion from the West Bank, for periods ranging from 3 to 9 months.
The military acted on information, according to which the youths were allegedly involved in the planning, direction, and execution of secret violent attacks against Palestinians residents of the West Bank as well as against Israelis security forces.
Sources said the information indicated that the activists actions posed a real threat to human life and a disruption of public order and peace.