Secret police unit monitoring Israeli citizens
Undercover cops operating in East Jerusalem, Arab villages in recent years to thwart terror attacks.
The police have recently started operating an undercover unit among Israeli citizens. Some two months ago, Police Commissioner David Cohen said the force had "no intelligence infrastructure to deal with the Arab community."
A police "mistaravim" unit, in which officers go deep undercover, has been operating in East Jerusalem and the adjacent Arab villages for the past few years, mainly with the goal of thwarting potential terror attacks. At a later stage, the scope of the operation was expanded to include other areas and other security-related matters.
Some two years ago, when the police were establishing a national investigations unit known as Lahav 433 to tackle organized crime, the original undercover unit was incorporated into Lahav 433 and became the police's operational branch in its fight against Israeli crime families.
Cohen testified in August before State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss as part of the investigation into police-ordered wiretaps under the auspices of the State Prosecutor's Office, in which the police were accused of acting improperly. Wiretaps, for example, were used in the case of former minister Haim Ramon, who was later convicted of kissing a young woman soldier against her will.
According to Cohen, after dealing with the Domrani and Abergil crime families, the police must now address "one large crime organization, the Jarusi family. This is a huge organization." Cohen said the new undercover unit would help the police "make an intelligence breakthrough in the coming years. He also said that "it's very hard for us to work in Umm al-Fahm, it's very hard for us to deal with crime in [Ramle neighborhood] Juarish and Ramle, and this unit is going to grow."