Police establish new unit for south TA

Station to provide ‘law and order’ to area, says Huldai.

Tel Aviv Police 311 (photo credit: Meir Vanunu\Israel Police)
Tel Aviv Police 311
(photo credit: Meir Vanunu\Israel Police)
Authorities launched a police unit near Tel Aviv’s central bus station on Monday, aimed at improving the quality of life and lowering crime in an area heavily populated by African migrants.
The unit was formally activated on the same day that Yaacub Alfadel, a 29-year-old Sudanese migrant who entered the country in 2009, was convicted in the Tel Aviv District Court for killing 70- year-old Ester Galilee near the central bus station in February.
Alfadel confessed to beating Galilee to death because he thought she deliberately knocked a garbage can in his direction.
On Monday, officers on horseback stood guard near the unit’s new station on Rehov Levinsky, the scene of the opening ceremony that was attended by police brass, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch and Tel Aviv Mayor Ron Huldai.
Asst.-Cmdr. Yoram Ohion, head of the Yiftah police subdistrict in Tel Aviv, said during the ceremony, “This is a complex area, where many cultures live together... Many have come here from countries plagued by problems.
They have the right to live in liberty like the veteran Israeli residents of the area. All have this right, irrespective of race, religion or sex.”
“Our duty is to fight for the image of Israeli society as a free society that rejects racism and aims for equality for all,” Ohion added.
Huldai said during his address that Tel Aviv has led the way in helping illegal migrants by creating a center to assist them with their basic needs.
“We live in a new reality in which the numbers of the migrants, some of who are refugees, has grown. They found themselves in the big city, where they can find a job... We believe every person has equal rights. Building this station is a recognition of the need to also deal with the issue of law and order,” Huldai said.
Israel Police Insp.-Gen. David Cohen noted that Rehov Levinsky was named after the 19th-century Zionist author and visionary Elhanan Levinsky. “This is the first Hebrew city and its street names are filled with references to Zionist symbols, but today few Israeli Zionists live here,” he said.
He added that the influx of African migrants into the country “has consequences,” and called on the national authorities to work together to cope with the issue.
Aharonovitch said in his speech that “few if any” of the migrants are genuine refugees, adding that the vast majority were job seekers.
Between 1,000 and 1,200 illegal migrants cross into Israel from Egypt every month, the minister said. He called on the government to implement a cabinet decision to built a fence on the Sinai border.