Israel Police have failed to carry out recommendations meant to improve their
relations with communities in the Arab sector, according to a segment of the
State Comptroller’s Report issued on Wednesday.
The section on police
relates how following the October 2000 riots – in which 13 Israeli Arabs were
killed by Israeli security forces – police launched efforts to repair ties with
the Arab community, with a focus on addressing police manpower shortages in Arab
communities, a lower police presence there, and improving the service provided
to the Arab public.
According to the State Comptroller’s Report, police
have failed to adequately address these issues in the almost 13 years since
One plan recommended by the Orr Commission, which was
appointed in 2003 to address the events three years earlier, was to open 10 new
police stations, 14 police posts, and 72 community policing units in the Arab
The report issued Wednesday states that “only a portion of these
recommendations were carried out. The police only opened one new station out of
those that they promised, [Umm el-Fahm – opened in 2005], and only started 35
civil patrols out of the 72, and not a single new police outpost.”
report also states that while the Orr Commission called for Arab towns to have
the same ratio of police patrolling as Jewish towns, no new budgetary
regulations were called for by police to make this happen.
Outside of the
Arab sector, the report says police are not carrying out enough “initiative-
based policing” and are still lacking in the services they provide to the
The report states that 78 percent of the police stations in
Israel have insufficient staff, and of these, 50% have 25% less than the staff
In a response to the findings, police said that in 2012 they
have expanded the number of police posts across the Arab sector – including one
in Tira opened earlier this year – have increased the number of Arabic-speaking
police and outreach efforts with the Arab sector.
Police said they now
have 69 civil police outfits and will open 14 “portable police stations” that
will operate across the Arab sector. They also highlighted their efforts to
expand the operations of the YAMAR special investigative unit within the Arab
sector, which they said has helped cut down on serious crimes.
section of the State Comptroller’s Report deals with the Fire and Rescue
Services, and what it called failures in preparing for fires, which it says
could be disastrous.
According to the report, the Fire and Rescue
Services have only mapped out and inspected about half of the businesses and
buildings in the cities in which they operate, and are not able to carry out
sufficient enforcement of fire code violations.
The report also
highlights failures in fighting fires in multi-story buildings, saying that the
average fire department crane can only reach to a height of 14 stories, one of
many factors that require greater preventative methods and fire response
contingency plans than the Fire and Rescue Services currently have.
report calls on the Fire and Rescue Services to carry out a multi-year plan to
map businesses and buildings more than 14 floors tall in order to better assess
the level of fire danger and means of protection in these buildings. In
addition, it calls for the Fire and Rescue Services to carry out better public
outreach in order to teach people about fire prevention.
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