(photo credit: Courtesy)
Haim Bibas, chairman of the Federation of Local Authorities in Israel and the mayor of Modi’in, called on the government to promote legislation extending security services for local authorities.
In a letter penned to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Interior Minister Arye Deri and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Bibas said municipal security was of special significance during these “sensitive times,” following the December 6 declaration by President Trump recognizing Jerusalem as the capital of Israel.
He argued there was an increased need for security officials and warned that any delay in passing legislation on the issue could lead to “harm to the personal security of citizens.”
Many local authorities have passed bylaws enabling them to engage in protecting the security of their citizens and upholding public order, and to collect a security fee for the purpose of financing these services.
As of December 31, these bylaws will have no legal basis without a legislative provision to extend them.
A bill to extend these bylaws was brought to the Knesset plenum for a first reading last week, but was removed from the agenda at the last moment and no future discussion has been scheduled.
The security fee enables the authorities to protect their residents by hiring added personnel to deal with violence, contribute to its deterrence and provide patrols, including for school security.
“The local authorities stood up for the security of their citizens in the absence of the state and security forces,” said Bibas.
“We stand by our residents and provide all their needs. And in order to continue to do so, we call upon the government not to abandon the security of our children and to approve the legislation, especially during this sensitive period that requires the appropriate preparations,” he said.