Are Erdan, the court and police uniting on weapons possession sentences?

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan said that the state prosecution cuts too many plea bargains regarding weapons possession crimes and that the sentences for the deals are too lenient.

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan attends a cabinet meeting, December 2019. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan attends a cabinet meeting, December 2019.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, Supreme Court President Esther Hayut and Acting Police Chief Moti Cohen appeared to unite on Sunday to pressure the state prosecution to seek stiffer sentences for weapon possession.
Erdan said that the state prosecution cuts too many plea bargains regarding weapon possession crimes and that the sentences are too lenient.
Focusing on the Israeli-Arab sector, Erdan said that illegal weapon possession is rampant, and lenient sentences are losing deterrent power. He took the unusual step of calling on the Supreme Court to start rejecting plea bargains en masse and to start handing down stiffer sentences.
Although courts confirm more than 90% of plea bargains cut by the state out of consideration for and in order to reduce the overwhelming caseload, courts have the official right to reject any deal and can issue a more stiff or lenient sentence.
Speaking after the meeting with Erdan, Hayut did not directly fault the state prosecution and did not directly address the Israeli-Arab sector, but said that the courts have discretion to reject plea deals and hand down their own sentences.
According to a joint statement, she agreed with Erdan and Cohen that weapon possession as a crime is out of control and stronger efforts need to be taken to combat it.
It is unclear how the new initiative will impact relations between the state prosecution and the courts – two branches which often act as allies in resisting pressure by the political class.
Spokespeople for the state prosecution said that they had no response, as they were taken by surprise by the meeting and the statement.