Israel Police Warns: “Catastrophic Lack Of Manpower, Unprepared For A Multi-Arena Event”

Israel Police commissioner Kobi Shabtai. (Israel Police)

Two years after Operation Guardian of the Walls, when widespread riots and violence by Israeli-Arabs took place in Israeli cities, Israel Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai warned that the lack of manpower in Israel Police is “catastrophic.”

Speaking at a meeting of the Knesset’s State Audit Committee on Tuesday about the lessons of the incidents during Operation Guardian of the Walls, Shabtai said that although the police are “much more prepared than we were in the past to deal with a large number of arenas…we are still not in the optimal situation we should be.”

“That is, in the case of a multiple arena event in the entire State of Israel, we would not be able to contain it,” Shabtai warned. “There is the National Guard that is currently being planned and it will respond to most things but there’s still a matter of resources, manpower, means, and equipment.”

Shabatai said that there is a severe shortage of manpower at all police stations across the country. “The station in Lod [where the worst rioting took place during Guardian of the Walls] is short on manpower by 30%. If the salary issue of Israel Police officers is not improved, I don’t see how there will be an improvement in the manpower situation.”

Superintendent Amir Cohen of the Border Police said in the session: “The Guardian of the Walls incidents in May 2021 were a wake-up call to Israeli society, the Israel Police, and certainly the Border Police. It is clear to all of us that we must prepare for the next incidents and we here are all aware that a ticking clock is leading us to the next scenario.”

(YWN Israel Desk – Jerusalem)


  1. The shortage of police officers is not just a problem in EY. Its a global issue just as in the U.S. where police have been increasingly caught between conflicting culture war issues, demands for greater transparency and equitable treatment, while not getting adequate pay, benefits and training.