Negev Residents Complain Police Anti-terror Unit Troops Party Too Loud

Member of Negev moshav committee: I was sitting at home on Tuesday night and the floor was simply vibrating with noise.

Residents of a moshav in the center of the country, have gotten used to many things over the years, living as they do next door to the headquarters of the Police Special Anti-Terror Unit (also known by their Hebrew acronym, Yamam). They've had armed men sneaking through their fields and combat units holding training sessions in their streets. But this week they decided to speak out against a much more ordinary nuisance - incessant noise produced by parties and celebrations held on the compound.

"I was sitting at home last night and the floor was simply vibrating with noise," said Michal, a member of the moshav committee. "It happens all the time, and for us the experience is verging on insufferable - it's beyond unpleasant."

"People throw raves nearby from time to time, at top volume. With all due respect, our experience from the police base parties is not too different," Michal said, adding she had tried approaching officers at the base, but was repeatedly told the noise was legal before 11 P.M. "I don't believe the law allows noise at such levels," she said.

Another resident told Haaretz that "it's supposed to be a police base where people train and sleep. It's not a party venue and it's not a nightclub. One of the conditions of becoming members of the moshav is keeping it's pleasant and quiet character, and it is precisely this character that is broken every time they hold a raucous event at the police base."

"On some nights the children can't fall asleep," said Yael, another resident. "We have to close the windows, even when the air conditioning isn't working. But the noise gets to us even then."

"We have no problem with the public announcement system operating there, we have no problem with the trainings they're holding on our territory and we have no problem with the helicopters going up and down," she added. "After all, their activity is hugely important for Israel's defense. But the nuisance caused by the [other] events there is just unbearable."

Border police said Tuesday that the events happen rarely, and when they do, they are carefully monitored. Spokesman Moshe Pinchi said in response that "the other day, a party was held by the Israel Police and the Border Police, for the kids of the Zichron Menachem organization for children with cancer. Music was played during the party, and some guest artists performed. This is an event the Police and Border Police are proud to hold every year, to make the children smile. We should note the party ended at 11 P.M., as the law permits."