An Israeli-Arab police officer from northern Israel spent several months undercover in Jaffa, helping police acquire information on drug dealers and rioters involved in violent demonstrations in the West Bank and east Jerusalem, Tel Aviv police announced on Sunday.
The operation was disclosed Sunday morning as police raided the streets of Jaffa, arresting 38 people suspected of dealing drugs and committing property crimes, including car theft.
“A” was deployed in Jaffa months before violent protests broke out there in early October. Police decided to use him to gain intelligence about the main instigators of the violence, police said Sunday.
Commander David Gez, the head of the Yiftah sub-district which includes Jaffa and south Tel Aviv, said that the connections “A” made in Jaffa helped police gain information about a number of suspects.
“He had already been there for a while before the riots and he was able to give us intelligence on the people taking part. When we realized that this was a tool we could use, we made the most of it,” Gez said.
Speaking to reporters on Sunday, “A” didn’t indicate any personal conflict over working undercover. “I am a cop and enlisted to be a cop and there are things you have to report as a man in uniform,” he said.
He described his deployment in Jaffa as “a source of pride for me and all of my family and the people who supported me.”
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Last Monday, police arrested four people – including two minors – suspected of having a main role in the rioting in Jaffa on October 6, during which masked men torched dumpsters and threw rocks and firebombs at police.
Two local Muslim leaders were among those arrested.
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