Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch warned of dire consequences to the Israel Police if Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu proceeded to cut the police's budget during a government meeting on Thursday, attended by the premier and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz.
Aharonovitch said the cuts would jeopardize the activity of "thousands of police officers taking part in non-stop operations," and cited the work of officers who smashed a cocaine trafficking ring made up of underworld kingpins this week as an example.
He added that officers who "don't sleep for 48 hours to safeguard the peace, who respond to Arab demonstrations and who will guard the Temple Mount tomorrow" will be jeopardized by the cuts too.
"The cuts will require officers to be fired, police stations to be closed, and damage to be done to the Public Security Ministry," Aharonovitch said. He asked ministers whether they could in good conscience deliver such a blow to Israeli law enforcement.
His speech was interrupted by Netanyahu, who praised police work and promised to meet with Aharonovitch privately to discuss the proposed cuts.