'Police have no policy on protestors'

Report: 70% of demonstrations result in violence between cops, protestors.

hebron protest 298.88 (photo credit: Channel 2 [file])
hebron protest 298.88
(photo credit: Channel 2 [file])
The Israel Police blasted the findings of a report released Thursday claiming that it has no clear policy regarding use of force against demonstrators, and that there are no guidelines for conducting debriefings after violent demonstrations. The study, commissioned by the Ministry of Internal Security, examined 100 demonstrations, and found that in 70 percent of incidents, violent confrontations broke out between police and demonstrators. The most violence, the study found, occurred in demonstrations within the Arab sector. Moderate violence occurred in protests involving haredim, while protests held by the left wing, the right wing and groups with social welfare agendas tended to be the least violent. The study was conducted prior to disengagement and the violent protests in the outpost of Amona in February. The Israel Police Spokesman's Office rejected the claims made in the report, saying it discussed old events. "The Israel Police has a well-defined strategy with regard to use of force toward demonstrators which is based upon graduated levels, as was evident during the events at Amona," a police spokesman said. Dr. Avraham Carmeli, a professor in the Graduate School of Business Administration and the Department of Political Science at Bar-Ilan University, and Iris Ravid-Yamin wrote the report, which also criticized lack of organizational memory within the police force, leading to repetitions of similar mistakes. The Spokesman's Office said these charges were inaccurate, citing a computerized database developed to centralize police debriefings and post-incident reports, including those events in which force was used. Carmeli and Ravid-Yamin called on the police to create a clear policy with regard to use of force as well as guidelines that demand that police establish a strategy for dealing with protests in advance of the actual demonstration. In an effort to combat widespread violence against demonstrators, the report also recommended that police not relate to demonstrators as a single entity, but rather to pinpoint specific violent demonstrators.