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Thousands of police to be deployed on Election Day

January 21, 2013 12:07

Police spokesman says thousands of officers to fan out at some 10,132 polling stations in Israel, “ensuring public right to vote."

An IDF soldier votes early in Ashdod, January 20, 2013.

An IDF soldier votes in Ashdod 370. (photo credit:Reuters/Amir Cohen)

Over 20,000 police and Border Police officers and police volunteers will be deployed across the country to secure polling stations on Tuesday, Israel Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said.

The officers will be in charge of keeping the peace at some 10,132 polling stations, with a focus on “ensuring that the public can exercise their right to vote without any problems whatsoever,” Rosenfeld said, adding that acts of political vandalism in recent days have highlighted the importance of a strong police presence on Election Day.

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“In recent days, you’ve had incidents of people tearing down signs, or burning books, because of internal rivalries, or other things, and this is something that we are keeping in mind for tomorrow.”

On Sunday there were a number of such incidents reported, including the spraying of graffiti reading “Yigal Amir was right” on the wall of The Tzipi Livni Party building and the torching of Shas-affiliated prayer books.

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In Lod on Monday, police received a complaint from activists for the right-wing Strong Israel party, who said they were attacked while hanging up signs for the party in the Ganei Aviv neighborhood of the mixed Jewish-Arab city.

Rosenfeld added that police won’t be on a higher level of alert, just deployed in force around the country to ensure that voting goes off without a hitch, and that tension and friction between political rivals doesn’t play out in disturbances at the polls.

The Tel Aviv District Police said on Sunday that they would deploy 2,000 police and Border Police officers and volunteers to patrol the 492 voting stations in the city, with special emphasis on preventing election fraud and violations of campaign laws by political parties.
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