Israel’s State Comptroller Matanyahu Englman on Wednesday released an incriminating report on the conduct of the police in mixed Jewish-Arab cities during Operation Guardian of the Walls last May.
The report says that the unprecedented violent riots that broke out at the time revealed significant deficiencies in police operations that had a severe effect on the most basic personal security that citizens are entitled to.
The report found that the police and Shin Bet were unprepared for the riots, in the course of which Israeli civilians were killed, hundreds were injured (including about 306 police officers), shuls were burned in incidents reminiscent of Kristallnacht, and property was damaged in about 520 documented incidents, at the peak of which, about 6,000 Israel-Arab residents particpated in.
During three days of riots, about 3,000 calls to the police went unanswered and 4,000 calls failed to receive an adequate response.
The report outlined major shortcomings in the division of responsibilities and intelligence between the police and the Shin Bet as well as significant failures in actually meeting the challenges of policing and law enforcement in mixed cities even prior to the riots.
Some of the more specific failings included a lack of equipment for riot police, limiting their response and endangering their lives, and police intelligence commanders in mixed cities who did not speak or understand Arabic.
(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)