Tel Aviv Police 311.
(photo credit: Meir Vanunu\Israel Police)
Authorities launched a police unit near Tel Aviv’s central bus station on
Monday, aimed at improving the quality of life and lowering crime in an area
heavily populated by African migrants.
The unit was formally activated on
the same day that Yaacub Alfadel, a 29-year-old Sudanese migrant who entered the
country in 2009, was convicted in the Tel Aviv District Court for killing 70-
year-old Ester Galilee near the central bus station in February.
confessed to beating Galilee to death because he thought she deliberately
knocked a garbage can in his direction.
On Monday, officers on horseback
stood guard near the unit’s new station on Rehov Levinsky, the scene of the
opening ceremony that was attended by police brass, Public Security Minister
Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.
Ohion, head of the Yiftah police subdistrict in Tel Aviv, said during the
ceremony, “This is a complex area, where many cultures live together... Many
have come here from countries plagued by problems.
They have the right to
live in liberty like the veteran Israeli residents of the area. All have this
right, irrespective of race, religion or sex.”
“Our duty is to fight for
the image of Israeli society as a free society that rejects racism and aims for
equality for all,” Ohion added.
Huldai said during his address that Tel
Aviv has led the way in helping illegal migrants by creating a center to assist
them with their basic needs.
“We live in a new reality in which the
numbers of the migrants, some of who are refugees, has grown. They found
themselves in the big city, where they can find a job... We believe
has equal rights. Building this station is a recognition of the need to
deal with the issue of law and order,” Huldai said.
Insp.-Gen. David Cohen noted that Rehov Levinsky was named after the
19th-century Zionist author and visionary Elhanan Levinsky. “This is the
Hebrew city and its street names are filled with references to Zionist
but today few Israeli Zionists live here,” he said.
He added that the
influx of African migrants into the country “has consequences,” and
the national authorities to work together to cope with the
Aharonovitch said in his speech that “few if any” of the migrants
are genuine refugees, adding that the vast majority were job
Between 1,000 and 1,200 illegal migrants cross into Israel from
Egypt every month, the minister said. He called on the government to
cabinet decision to built a fence on the Sinai border.