Police at Tel Aviv Central Bus Station 370.
(photo credit: Ricardo Mallaco)
Plans by Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to cut NIS181 million from the Public Security Ministry's budget will result in more crime and violence on the
streets, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch warned
Although the ministry accounts for just three percent of the
state budget, it will absorb 14% of overall government budget cuts, according to
“There will be fewer police on the streets,” Aharonovitch said
in a statement distributed by the ministry.
“This cut is a decisive blow
to current working plans,” he continued. “It will harm the Israel
It will harm the personal security of each and every one of us.
It must not go ahead.”
The minister called the planned cuts a “blow
against society, which is seeking a sense of security and a quality police
Aiming his dissatisfaction at Prime Minister Binyamin
Netanyahu and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz, Aharonovitch added that it was
“inconceivable that the prime minister and finance minister would now deliver
such a harsh blow to personal security and to plans the prime minister himself
According to the ministry, police will have to shut two
large police stations or four small stations if the cuts go ahead. Additionally,
the force will be limited in its ability to deploy officers, and crime fighting
in the Arab community will harmed “despite the prime minister’s demand for law
enforcement in the Arab community.”
Border Police task forces set up to
combat violence would also be disbanded, the statement said. Holding cells for
illegal migrants would be shut, too, and reforms to the Fire and Rescue Service,
which were trumpeted earlier this month by Netanyahu, will now face
difficulties, as would programs to combat street violence, drugs and
Sources in the Public Security Ministry said that in addition to
the budget reduction, the Finance Ministry was delaying the transfer of hundreds
of millions of shekels already owed to the ministry, throwing a wrench in
planning for law enforcement and emergency services.