(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [illustrative])
The mayor of Lod threatened on Tuesday to shut the city down completely if the
state did not immediately deploy a Border Police force to patrol the
crime-ridden town, following the drive-by murders of two residents in the span
of 48 hours.
RELATED:Woman shot dead in second murder in Lod in 48 hoursPM calls for meeting to help find way to fight crime in Lod
“If they do not deploy a platoon of Border Police officers
to Lod, I will shut down the entire city, the schools, everything, and go to
Jerusalem to protest to the prime minister,” Mayor Ilan Hariri said
In response to Hariri’s call, an entire Border Police company
has been deployed in the city, and the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) will
assist police in confiscating weapons from residents, Channel 2 reported on
Hariri said he hoped the Border Police could help deal
with the abundance of illegal firearms in the city and go door-to-door to get
the guns off the street. He added that residents were in dire need of greater
security and that many were living in a state of fear.
murder, Hariri wrote a letter to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, in which he
called on the state to launch immediate, wide-ranging measures to fight violent
crime in the city.
Late Monday night, 27-year-old Emil Halili was sitting
in her car with her eight-year-old daughter at a railroad crossing, when she was
set upon by unknown assailants who shot her in the head at point-blank range as
a passing train muffled the crack of the gunshots.
Halili was pronounced
dead at the scene, and her daughter was treated at a nearby hospital after being
lightly wounded by broken glass.
Police said Tuesday they did not have
any suspects in the crime and that Halili had no criminal record
The investigation is also examining the possibility that the
murder was an “honor killing,” not only because of Halili’s lack of a criminal
past, but also because several months ago, she filed a police complaint saying
she was being harassed by a family member. Halili withdrew the complaint the
The day before Halili was murdered, local resident Sami Hijazi
was shot and killed outside Lod’s city hall, also while sitting inside his car.
Police stated that the motive for the shooting was criminal, but added that
Hijazi had no known criminal record.
Police are currently probing whether
there is any sort of connection between the two crimes. When asked whether the
back-to-back murders indicated that the violent crime rate in Lod was
escalating, police said, “No, also in March there were two days in a row with
murders in Lod. Unfortunately, this is not such an exceptional thing for the
Following reports of Monday night’s murder, Public Security
Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch declared he would launch a series of nationwide
operations to fight the proliferation of illegal firearms on Israel’s
Aharonovitch called on the army and the Shin Bet to work
together with police to fight illegal weaponry, most of which is smuggled in
from Egypt and Jordan. He also spoke to IDF officials and asked that they
concentrate efforts to police IDF weapons depots, another large source of
black-market firearms and explosives.
“The current situation cannot
continue. The fight against illegal weapons has been very important up until
now, and there is no doubt it will become an even more central focus of police
efforts,” he said. “I’ve said in the past, there are places in Israel where if
you were to hold a magnet above them, the entire village or town would rise with
Aharonovitch added that “the police have the ability to
carry out these operations in an efficient manner, and we are close to carrying
out a major operation together with other security services.”