Olmert speaks with police, Peki'in leaders in wake of violence

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert spoke with Israel Police Chief Insp.-Gen. David Cohen, Druze community leader Sheikh Muafak Tarif and Peki'in Mayor Muhammad Kheir on Wednesday evening in the wake of Tuesday's violent incidents in Peki'in, in order to calm the situation and discuss ways to prevent similar violent events in the future, his office said Thursday morning. Olmert thanked Tarif for his efforts to calm situation. The prime minister expressed hope that the event would not mar relations between Jews and the Druze and promised that the government would continue with its plan to reduce gaps regarding the Druze community, especially in regard to education and discharged young Druze soldiers. The prime minister told Peki'in Mayor Kheir that everything had to be done to prevent the violence from disrupting life in Peki'in, including Druze, Muslims, Christians and Jews and to restore the mixed community to the path of tranquility and development. Olmert asked Cohen about the police personnel who were injured Tuesday. He made it clear that alongside the need to inquire into the events, the government could not countenance attacking police officers and taking of violent action against law enforcement personnel. Olmert requested that a report on Tuesday's events be submitted for cabinet consideration at its meeting on Sunday.