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Police Insp.-Gen Moshe Karadi has decided to appoint a special national police task force to combat the attacks and threats against mayors.
The task force will centralize, coordinate and oversee all of the almost 40 files documenting threats made against mayors. Until this point, all incidents were dealt with at the level of the police districts, without coordination or intelligence-sharing among the six districts. The team will also weigh the cases, and decide which cases will be turned over to a special national investigative unit.
Karadi also instructed Police Operations Chief Bertie Ohayon to reconsider the "security package" currently given to mayors. Around twenty of the nearly 40 mayors who have received threats are believed to be in physical danger.
During the meeting, Karadi emphasized that neither the police nor the nation should reconcile themselves to this disturbing phenomenon. He characterized the would-be attackers as "criminal elements who are trying to influence mayors' decision-making processes through the use of force." The top cop promised that the police will direct all necessary manpower to confront the violent acts.
The task force will be commanded by Asst.-Cmdr. Aharon Weisskopf, a division head in the police's Economic Crimes Unit. Weisskopf will work together with the Investigative Assistance Unit of the Intelligence and Investigation Division as well as with the Threatened Persons Unit of the Operations Division.
The current police interest in threats and attacks against mayors began five days ago, after a grenade was thrown at Netanya mayor Miriam Fyerberg's house.
Since he took office in June, Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter has lashed out against these attacks, listing them as one of the major factors in the declining sense of public security in Israel.
After the latest attack, which came only two months after Nahariya mayor Jacky Sabag's house was also attacked in the night by grenade-wielding criminals, Prime Minister Ehud Olmert said that he would hold a special discussion on the phenomenon.
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