Initiative comes after rise in threats against police,MKs.
By YAAKOV LAPPIN
A new initiative to assist public officials whose lives have been threatened by criminals or rivals will be backed by a NIS 20 million budget, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch (Israel Beiteinu) announced on Monday.“Crime against judges and other public officials represents the crossing of a red line. We will increase security, and act with zero tolerance against anyone who seeks to harm the rule of law,” Aharonovitch said.The increase in funding is aimed at an “initial fueling” of the initiative, the minister said, adding that the efforts would be accompanied by attempts to put organized crime bosses behind bars.According to the ministry, 122 officials have recently been threatened, including 57 police officers, seven judges, 21 local authority heads, an attorney, and five MKs.That represents a 26 percent increase in the number of threatened officials in recent months, the ministry said.A majority of threatened public officials are from Arab regional councils in the North.Political rivalries, demands by criminals, clan feuds, and opposition to appointments by local council heads form the background to many of the threats.Police have stepped up efforts to gather intelligence on the sources of the threats and have prioritized the investigations into them. Threatened officials receive round-the-clock protection from the state as well as psychological therapy if required.
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