Police Chief: If Necessary, I'd Okay Peki'in Operation Again

Clashes with police in Peki'in left 13 Druze injured, among them two seriously from gunshot wounds.

Police commissioner Dudi Cohen told the Knesset Internal Affairs committee Wednesday that if necessary, he would repeat the operation in Peki'in that led to violence between Druze citizens and police in October of last year.

The clash in Peki'in left 40 people injured, among them two seriously, and erupted when a large police force entered the village to make arrests over a vandalized cellular phone antenna. Among the wounded were 24 police officers and 13 civilians, and three suffered gunshot wounds.

Cohen said that since the violent clashes erupted there have been eight instances in which Druze residents have harassed Jews in Peki'in.

"The police will continue to enter Peki'in and do their duty. On the day of the clashes, 124 policemen entered Peki'in in order to arrest 17 civilians who had set fires and threw grenades. That is a reasonable police force," Cohen said.

Cohen also criticized the demands for an external investigation. "We are sick of investigations. The police is strong enough to investigate itself."

He added that he is fully supportive of the commander of the operation Major General Shimon Koren, which contradicts earlier reports that Koren was reprimanded by Cohen.