(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski/The Jerusalem Post))
A new initiative to assist public officials whose lives have been threatened by
criminals or rivals will be backed by a NIS 20 million budget, Public Security
Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Israel Beiteinu) announced on
“Crime against judges and other public officials represents the
crossing of a red line. We will increase security, and act with zero tolerance
against anyone who seeks to harm the rule of law,” Aharonovitch said.
increase in funding is aimed at an “initial fueling” of the initiative,
minister said, adding that the efforts would be accompanied by attempts
organized crime bosses behind bars.
According to the ministry, 122
officials have recently been threatened, including 57 police officers,
judges, 21 local authority heads, an attorney, and five MKs.
represents a 26 percent increase in the number of threatened officials
months, the ministry said.
A majority of threatened public officials are
from Arab regional councils in the North.
Political rivalries, demands by
criminals, clan feuds, and opposition to appointments by local council
form the background to many of the threats.
Police have stepped up efforts
to gather intelligence on the sources of the threats and have
investigations into them. Threatened officials receive round-the-clock
protection from the state as well as psychological therapy if required.