The police cracked a smile on Monday after a Tel Aviv Court allowed the publication of last month's arrest of senior crime leaders Meir Abergil and MK Inbal Gavrieli's father, brother and uncle.
After coming under harsh criticism following the violent evacuation of Amona last week, the publication was just what the police needed - to show the public that while violence might seem to be on the rise and crime was spreading, they were still out there doing their job and catching criminals.
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The arrests of Reuven, Shoni and Shlomi Gavrieli, as well as Meir Abergil, joined a growing list of recent police successes. Underworld kingpin Ze'ev Rosenstein is on his way to boarding a plan to Miami, where he will stand trial for running a drug-smuggling ring. His replacement as the police's Public Enemy No. 1 - Amir Mulner - was arrested over the weekend after explosives were found in his car, and crime figure Ya'acov Alperon was also recently arrested.
The police took particular pride in arresting the Gavrieli family since it showed, senior officers said, the unfortunate connection between crime, money and government. Gavrieli's uncle Reuven - a known crime suspect and casino owner - was personally involved in getting his niece into the Knesset by lobbying on her behalf among Likud Party Central Committee members.
Last month during his annual press conference, Police Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi lamented the growing number of investigations against politicians and other public figures and the escalation in violence between rivaling criminal organizations. While MK Gavrieli was not a suspect in this specific case, the arrests of her relatives showed that she might have some explaining to do.
But while the arrests could be considered a success and would no doubt set back the criminal world by a bit, officers warned that the vacuum these criminals left behind would eventually be filled and as Tel Aviv Police chief Cmdr. David Zur recently told The Jerusalem Post
: "In crime there is never a vacuum, and when one criminal is arrested his place gets filled very quickly."