Some 10,000 police officers will provide security for November 11 local elections, as part of the "Narkis 2008" safety plan for the campaign, which Police Chief David Cohen approved yesterday. On the day itself, police will switch to operational level C, the force's second highest alert level.
The plan's aim will be to prevent two kinds of crimes: burglaries while house owners are busy voting, and violence connected to the various campaigns.
Unknown perpetrators on Monday slashed the car tires of Or Yehuda Mayor David Yossef. Some days earlier, several teenagers trashed Yossef's headquarters, tearing pictures from the walls and throwing furniture around. Police suspect the vandalism is connected to disputes between poster hangers working for various candidates.
In Herzliya, police arrested a 19-year-old man suspected of setting fire to a car belonging to Nino Hadad, the chairman of the city's Neveh Yisrael neighborhood - and a contender for city council.
Election vandalism also occurred in neighboring Ramat Hasharon, where elections posters were been defaced. Police believe the vandal is a 43-year-old man, whom they arrested and released under restrictions after questioning. "It is up to the Israel Police to ensure that each and every resident may realize his or her democratic right and vote for his or her public officials," Cohen, the police chief, said yesterday.
Anyone over the age of 17 who had been registered as a resident voter 40 days before election date is allowed to vote. Unlike in general elections, voting is not reserved to citizens only, allowing permanent residents (such as Palestinian residents of East Jerusalem) a minimum of 18 years old to participate as well.
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