BORDER POLICE Lod 311.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu will on Sunday present to the cabinet for
approval a plan to spend NIS 130 million to bring much-needed relief to the
blighted central city of Lod, in the wake of a string of murders that have left
residents of the city shaken.
Netanyahu’s bureau said Thursday the plan
includes NIS 10 million to beef up efforts to fight violent crime over the next
year, with a special emphasis on getting illegal firearms off the streets. As
part of the program, a network of surveillance cameras will be affixed across
the city and a control center will be opened to monitor the footage.
Lod's Arab residents protest; blame police for murders
Following two murders, Border Police sent to Lod
city of Lod, only 15 km southeast of Tel Aviv, has been on the front pages of
Israeli newspapers recently as three residents were murdered over just the past
month, including two over the span of 30 hours.
Two of the victims
included women shot to death in front of their children.
community activists have repeatedly cited what they say is a culture of
lawlessness brought on by the city’s decaying infrastructure and an insufficient
police presence as reasons for the spike in violence.
If approved, the
plan will funnel NIS 30m. to upgrade infrastructure in the declining
neighborhoods in the city center. The plan will also push for enforcement of
laws against illegal construction, which is very prevalent in the city’s
predominantly Arab neighborhoods of Rekevet, Pardes Snir and Ramat
Parts of the Pardes Snir neighborhood will receive legal status
and improved infrastructure if the plan is approved. In addition, the program
will reportedly put aside money to market new neighborhoods for new residents of
The city’s social welfare programs, which local activists and
residents have repeatedly referred to as severely lacking, will receive an
additional NIS 4m. in funding per year. As well, a number of jobs will be
created for new social workers, including Arabic-speaking ones.
houses in the city’s Arab neighborhoods will receive renewed infrastructure, and
much of their illegal construction will be given legal status. In addition, some
NIS 10m. will be invested in building sports facilities in the city, which
currently lacks a single community center for the Arab sector.
announcement of the plan, Netanyahu expressed the importance of preventing Lod
from declining farther.
“We will do whatever is necessary so that Lod
will continue to attract residents, young couples and tourists. The first
commitment of any government to its citizens is security. I cannot accept that
Lod will become the Wild West; we are committed to [preventing] this.”
added, “Only a comprehensive plan will save the city, and I am certain that the
integrated actions which we are taking in the fields of the economy, housing,
infrastructure, social welfare and personal security are the combination that
will bring change to Lod.”