Lod Protest 311.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
The government approved on Sunday an NIS 160 million emergency package for the crime-plagued city of Lod aimed at increasing security for local residents and investing in educational and welfare programs.
“A few weeks ago we visited Lod and I said we could not let the city degenerate and turn into the Wild West in the center of the country,” Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu said at the start of a cabinet meeting on Sunday morning.
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“I believe this program will bear fruit in the near future,” the prime minister added.
A spate of homicides has swept over Lod’s Arab community in recent weeks, in which victims have been shot dead in public places, often at close range in front of their children.
The Public Security Ministry, which designed the emergency assistance package, said it would be wrong “to leave the police alone on the front and to believe that law enforcement can solve Lod’s problems. It’s important to remember that the only symbol of state authority and sovereignty that existed in recent years in certain parts of Lod is the police.”
Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said the package would
include placing the city into a pilot urban policing scheme, which would
allow for an increased police presence, a major new initiative to seize
illegal firearms from criminal elements in Lod.
CCTV cameras will be installed across the city and connected to a
municipal control room, a process which began in 2008 with the addition
of Lod to the City Without Violence program. The program will receive
NIS 2.3m. this year.
Funds will also go to beefing up welfare services – a new welfare center costing NIS 2.5m. will be built in the coming months.
Sports and culture centers for youths will also be built, while
educational institutions will also receive increased government funding