Following a series of stabbings across the country, Northern District police officers embarked on a large operation over the weekend against youth violence, knives, and alcohol, arresting 75 minors for a variety of offenses.

Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Yochanan Danino had ordered all districts to crack down on street violence and to boost officers’ visibility in entertainment districts.

Northern police seized 10 knives and two pairs of brass knuckles from teenagers during searches, and arrested a further 16 for possession of drugs.

Hundreds of police and volunteers confiscated 306 alcohol beverages from drinkers in public areas, where their consumption is prohibited.

They were deployed in several cities including Afula, Safed, Nazareth, Upper Nazareth, Migdal Ha’emek and Karmiel.

“We started this operation on Friday, and worked around the clock into Saturday night. We found offenses in 67 kiosks,” Ch.-Supt. Ido Klein, the youth officer for the Northern District, told The Jerusalem Post on Sunday.

In 37 kiosks, police uncovered evidence that alcohol was being sold to minors, Klein said, noting that 200 kiosks in the North have been found to be committing that offense since the beginning of the year.

Klein said police were seeking to crack down on two offenses that, when mixed, often result in potentially lethal violence, underage drinking and knife possession. “When someone is intoxicated and is armed with a knife, he is far more likely to brandish it,” he said. “Our experience shows that drunken youths carrying knives are 10 times more likely to use them.”

Klein said his biggest target was kiosk owners who sold beer and hard spirits to youths, adding that 29 business owners had been invited to a police hearing following the operation.

“They could see their businesses shut for 30 days. That will cause huge economic damage,” he said. “They see the money and it blinds them, but the fact is that they are risking significant economic damage.”

Klein said he could not comment on whether police sent in youngsters to try to buy alcohol while secretly recording them.

“I go after those who sell the minors alcohol. I will use all the tools at my disposal against them, including undercover and overt methods,” he added.

Meanwhile, in Rishon Lezion, police detained two drivers over the weekend after they were found to be over the legal alcohol limit. One of the drivers had already had his license revoked, and so was driving illegally.

Officers seized 30 alcoholic drinks being consumed in public areas, and found 120 bags of the illegal “Mr. Nice Guy” synthetic drug during a search of a kiosk; officers arrest an employee and shut down the business.

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