Public security minister, police hold emergency meeting

Prison heads also participate in meeting to discuss ways of thwarting NIS 1.4 billion budget cut.

yitzhak aharonovich 88 (photo credit: )
yitzhak aharonovich 88
(photo credit: )
An emergency meeting was held on Tuesday by Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharanovitch, Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. David Cohen, and Prisons Service head Chief Warden Benny Kaniak to discuss ways of thwarting the NIS 1.4 billion budget cut proposed by the Finance Ministry. During the meeting, Cohen said the cut to the Public Security Ministry's budget would result in "widespread and irreversible damage to the personal security of every Israeli citizen, and would certainly weaken the strength of Israeli society." Cohen added that the cut would "harm the ability of the Israel Police to fight crime, terrorism and accidents that take human lives." He also said that the Border Police, "a force that forms a frontline shield for Israeli democracy," would also see a decrease in the quality of conditions and the salaries of officers. Kaniak warned that there would be "no alternative but to shut existing prison facilities, which would dramatically harm the chain of law enforcement." Aharanovitch vowed that he would "not allow a penny to be cut" from his ministry's budget. "I intend to fight this in an uncompromising manner," he said. "It is inconceivable that the government sends such a degrading message to the police officers and wardens of Israel, who are currently busy securing the pope's visit around the clock, as well as Miron [the country's main Lag Ba'omer celebrations]" and other events throughout the year. "They wake up in the morning to the possibility of a decrease in their salaries," he said about the country's security personnel, "which in any case are inappropriately low and unjust.". Aharanovitch repeated his warning that he would vote against the budget "if the Finance Ministry continues to insist on cutting," adding that he would "work to ensure that members of my party do the same. I call on the prime minister to immediately intervene and avoid the cuts."