(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski [illustrative])
Police arrested eight suspects over the weekend in the murder of a father of two
in Beerseheba who was stabbed because he asked a group of youths to keep the
Seven males and one female who is under the age 18 were
arrested. Some are suspected of being directly tied to the killing while others
are suspected of aiding the murderers.
The arrests followed an intensive
investigation by the the Negev police subdistrict’s central unit.
Insp.-Gen. Yohanan Danino said, “We are at war, a war over the face of, and some
would say the future of, Israeli society. It can be compared to every other war
fought by Israel, and it is no less important.
We all need to join forces
to combat the plague of violence in our midst.”
Danino added that “there
are no magical solutions. There are monetary solutions. We need
more officers on the streets and in the parks. More officers in the Arab community. More
officers in entertainment districts and where youths are.”
Danino said he
would submit a proposal to Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu on Monday to
increase the size of the Israel Police, adding that the organization hasn’t
grown since 1994.
After Gadi Vichman was killed in Beersheba early
Saturday, officers searched house-to-house and tried to identify the
There has been growing outrage over the police’s failure to
prevent the killing, after it emerged that members of the public, including the
murdered man’s wife, Michal, had called to complain about youths smashing
bottles two hours before the attack.
A patrol car dispatched to the
street in response to the calls “didn’t find a thing,” police said, and left to
attend to another incident. Two hours later, Vichman left his apartment to speak
to the youths, before being headbutted and stabbed to death.
Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch announced on Sunday that the police would
“investigate [its] conduct in this incident, and learn all of the lessons, as
the investigation continues.” He vowed that the “murderers will be
But the scope of the investigation remained unclear. While
Aharonovitch said it would be overseen by Danino, senior police sources told The
Jerusalem Post they were unaware of a major internal inquiry, saying a probe
would be conducted at the local level.
Hundreds of mourners attended
Vichman’s funeral on Sunday evening. “I keep thinking maybe he’s
clinically dead and he’ll recover. But he won’t,” his wife, Michal
Vichman, told Israel Radio before the funeral.
called her and expressed his “deep sorrow and condolences over the terrible
loss,” adding, “I’m shocked and horrified by the painful murders that occurred
in recent days.”
He condemned “the intolerable ease with which these
criminals take lives,” and said that “this cannot continue.”
program already in place in 13 cities, which involves training municipal
inspectors and granting them police powers, will be expanded to every city, and
CCTV cameras will continue to go up in urban centers and crime hot spots, the