Police stations in eastern Yerushalayim, faced with the heart of the Islamic violence and attacks in the capital, are significantly shorthanded, lacking about 400 policemen.
Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan is working to encourage them by offering financial and other incentives, yet fewer and fewer policemen are willing to serve in the predominately Arab areas of the capital and the high confrontation areas. Policemen explain they are unwilling to endure what the job demands for a mere NIS 400-500 extra monthly. This they explain includes serving in the Arab areas and the Old City. “We prefer NIS 500 monthly less and have a quiet life” one officer is quoted telling Walla News anonymously.
Walla News reveals the monetary incentive announced by Erdan for police is not all it appears to be on the surface. Walla has learned that police willing to serve in the high-risk areas and receive the additional funding must agree to remain at this post for five years.
Making things worse, veteran cops explain that new recruits joining the force are being paid almost the same as they would if they sign on for the high-risk area. Some policemen interviewed question why a sane person would want to be targeted with firebombs and stones daily for a few hundred extra shekels monthly. Similar difficulties exist in the ranks of the border police and this reality appears to be what prompted Erdan to offer the monetary incentive.
Police officials explain as a result of the current realities, policemen are assigned to these areas against their will, not an ideal situation towards maintaining morale in the force. Walla explains motivation to serve in these areas is down and some policemen realize they have not option other than doing a few years in Jerusalem until they can find a permanent slot elsewhere, like in the north. “The monetary incentive is one big fraud” an officer is quoted adding. This particular officer is ‘stuck’ in the eastern capital despite repeated efforts to be reassigned in a western area of the city. He adds that after taxes are removed from the bonus, it simply does not justify being in constant life-threatening danger.
(YWN – Israel Desk, Jerusalem)