Facebook unmasking cops living in illegal structures

If you are a police officer living in an illegal structure, you might find your name and a photograph of your home on Facebook.

By
December 6, 2011 00:15
2 minute read.
West Bank outpost [illustrative]

Migron outpost aerial_311. (photo credit: Baz Ratner / Reuters)

If you are a police officer living in an illegal structure, you might find your name and a photograph of your home on Facebook, warned the non-governmental group Regavim.

There is a “new phenomenon,” it said, in which concerned citizens are using Israel Police’s Facebook page to report on such officers.

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Regavim on Sunday distributed to the media three posts to the police Facebook page, put up in the last weeks.

In two cases, according to Regavim, someone posted information regarding a Beduin officer that included a name, address, photograph of the home and the charge that the building was unauthorized.

Similarly, someone also posted information regarding an officer whose home was one of three unauthorized structures demolished at the start of September at the Migron outpost, according to Regavim.

In each case, Regavim provided the media with photographs of the three posts, which no longer appear on the Facebook page.



The posts come in the aftermath of a new Regavim campaign initiated two weeks ago, to target officers who live in illegal homes.

Under the slogan, “Enforce the law – on the law enforcers,” it called on the public to combat illegal construction by posting on the police’s Facebook page, or sending information to an email address set up by Regavim called policeman.illegal@gmail.com.

Regavim advertised the campaign at the bottom of its web page. It does not specifically mention Israeli Arab or Beduin police in the campaign’s text.

Regavim works to combat unauthorized construction, both among Palestinians in Area C of the West Bank or among Israeli Arabs and Beduin living within the pre-1967 lines.

Similarly, the organization has taken issue in specific with Israeli Arab and Beduin members of the police force that live in such illegal homes.

It initially raised the matter of police living in illegal structures after a citizen complained that an officer was living at the Migron outpost over the summer.

Regavim’s director of operations, Betzalel Smotrich, called on the police to investigate the complaints and enforce the law.

“We have an obligation to stand by the police to warn against criminals in uniform who are acting against the law by living in illegal homes,” he said.

Police spokeswoman Luba Samri, however, denied Monday that a phenomenon of tattling on police in illegal homes through Facebook existed. But she did not deny that the information had been posted.


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