Police question youth outside club 370.
(photo credit: Ben Hartman)
The Knesset Internal Affairs and Environment Committee on Tuesday approved in
its second and third reading a bill that will allow the police to enter private
houses under certain circumstances if they are perceived to be violating noise
The bill, which the committee referred to as a “watered-down”
version of the original bill, doesn’t enable police to carry out a search of the
establishment when responding to the noise complaint, a stipulation that was
allowed in the previous wording of the bill. The bill will permit police to
enter the establishment only if there is reason to believe the noise violation
is causing significant harm to the public well-being.
Also Tuesday, a
separate meeting was held in the same committee, to discuss reports of police
violence against social justice protesters, as well as at violent protests at
the Western Wall and elsewhere.
Meretz MK Tamar Zandberg characterized
what she described as police violence in recent weeks against social justice
protesters as “severe and difficult within a democratic regime,” adding that
such violence is used “as a tool against the protests.”
filed the motion to hold the hearing, also spoke of reports that demonstrators
had been sexually harassed by police at recent protests, a claim police
Showing agreement on the issue from across the political spectrum,
Bayit Yehudi MK Orit Struck spoke of police violence against right-wing
demonstrators, saying it is a problem that doesn’t differentiate between
protesters’ politics, adding that the Justice Ministry is incapable of handling
the complaints against police.
The police representative present, Cmdr.
Ayelet Elisher, said that police reserve “the right to use reasonable force, a
right that is enshrined in the law and examined by the court.” She added that
one of the major problems is the lack of coordination between protesters and
police, and that when demonstrations aren’t coordinated with police, protesters
end up in places where their actions threaten public safety.
was the head of the Justice Ministry’s department for investigating police,
attorney Moshe Saadeh, who said that in 2011 there were 800 investigations
opened by the department, of which around 20 percent ended in a “significant
judgment” or a criminal case.
Social protest leader Daphni Leef also
addressed the committee, describing her arrest in June 2012, during which police
were videotaped forcefully removing her from Rothschild Square. Leef said of the
incident: “I received serious blows to the body, they prevented me from
receiving medical treatment, and I was sexually harassed. The Israel Police use
their force in a manner that endangers Israeli democracy.”