Ezra seeks OK for new police unit to fight car theft

The unit, called Etgar (Challenge), was initially established in 1998 but was dismantled due to cuts in operational budget.

By
November 26, 2005 23:42
2 minute read.

 
X

Dear Reader,
As you can imagine, more people are reading The Jerusalem Post than ever before. Nevertheless, traditional business models are no longer sustainable and high-quality publications, like ours, are being forced to look for new ways to keep going. Unlike many other news organizations, we have not put up a paywall. We want to keep our journalism open and accessible and be able to keep providing you with news and analyses from the frontlines of Israel, the Middle East and the Jewish World.

As one of our loyal readers, we ask you to be our partner.

For $5 a month you will receive access to the following:

  • A user experience almost completely free of ads
  • Access to our Premium Section
  • Content from the award-winning Jerusalem Report and our monthly magazine to learn Hebrew - Ivrit
  • A brand new ePaper featuring the daily newspaper as it appears in print in Israel

Help us grow and continue telling Israel’s story to the world.

Thank you,

Ronit Hasin-Hochman, CEO, Jerusalem Post Group
Yaakov Katz, Editor-in-Chief

UPGRADE YOUR JPOST EXPERIENCE FOR 5$ PER MONTH Show me later

Citing a drastic increase in the number of car thefts over the past year, Internal Security Minister Gideon Ezra will ask the cabinet on Sunday to approve the establishment of a new police unit to combat the phenomenon. The unit, called Etgar (Challenge), was initially established in 1998 but was dismantled at the beginning of 2004 due to cuts in the police's operational budget. Since the unit's dismantlement, police have noted a sharp increase in the number of car thefts. The police established the unit after 45,926 cars were stolen in 1997 - almost 10,000 more than the previous year. In the last two years that the unit was functioning (2002-2003), the average number of cars stolen was less than 26,000. When police dismantled the unit, they cited the construction of the West Bank security fence as an effective means to stop car thieves - most of whom were Palestinian - from entering Israel and stealing cars. However, police have noted that the security fence is no longer as effective since there are several gaps in the fence in the North and particularly in the South, where the construction is just at its beginning stages. Thefts last year shot up to 30,000 and are occurring at a similar pace again this year. "The establishment of the unit will hopefully restore the Israeli citizen's feeling of security," Ezra told a meeting of the National Manufacturer's Association in Haifa on Friday. Ezra noted that the opening of the Trans-Israel Highway (Road 6) which cuts across the country from Umm-el Fahm in the North to the South has assisted thieves in quickly and easily transporting stolen vehicles from the North and the Sharon to chop shops in the South. The unit will be established in conjunction with the National Insurance Association which has collected 40 percent of the unit's cost from the major Israeli insurance companies. The other 60 percent will come from the police's budget. The funding arrangement, police noted, has received Attorney-General Menahem Mazuz's approval.

Join Jerusalem Post Premium Plus now for just $5 and upgrade your experience with an ads-free website and exclusive content. Click here>>

Related Content

Jisr az-Zarq
April 3, 2014
Residents of Jisr az-Zarqa beckon Israel Trail hikers to enjoy their town

By SHARON UDASIN