Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Israel Beiteinu) met Monday with
a group of police officers set to enter prison on Tuesday for their role in a
vigilante campaign against a Nahariya mobster who had threatened their
Following the meeting, in which Aharonovitch comforted the four
officers ahead of their prison sentence, the Public Security Ministry issued a
statement saying that the meeting “does not at all constitute an appeal of the
punishment handed down by the court” but instead was meant to show that “the
minister gives his full backing to all police fighting on the front lines
In response to the ruling, Aharonovitch added that “it is
impossible to ignore the message being sent to police in the
Officers Eldad Hadad, Yossi Levi, Yaniv Ashur and Rami Musa were
convicted last July of carrying out a series of vigilante acts against reputed
mobster Michael Mor and his associates, and were sentenced to a year in prison
by a Haifa court last October. The Supreme Court rejected their appeal of the
sentence on Sunday.
At the same time that the cops were sentenced to a
year in prison, the target of their campaign, Mor, was given an 11-month
sentence for threatening to attack judges and police.
During the meeting
with Aharonovitch, the officers asked to receive a copy of the findings of an
internal police report written by Israel Police Deputy Insp.-Gen. Cmdr. Ilan
Franco on the affair.
On October 22, 2006, a bomb exploded on the
windshield of a car belonging to Mor’s nephew Rafi Ben- Shalom, causing damage
to an adjacent building. An additional bomb was fixed to the bottom of Mor’s car
but was found and neutralized before it could be detonated. Both bombs were
packed with gunpowder and small steel particles.
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tracked the bombs back to the vigilante cops.
The sentencing of the four
officers was met with widespread outrage in the law enforcement community, with
many saying that the courts were punishing police who were only trying to
protect themselves and their families, and felt they had nowhere else to turn.
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