Sneh tours Jaffa 'crime kingdoms'

Leader of new party blames gov't for failing to give police resources to fight mobs.

sneh 248.88 (photo credit: yaakov lappin)
sneh 248.88
(photo credit: yaakov lappin)
In a tour designed to underline the government's abandonment of crime-infested areas, former Labor MK Efraim Sneh and his new Strong Israel Party toured two compounds owned by alleged organized crime families in Jaffa on Wednesday. "We are going to two places that have been closed off by crime families," Sneh said, describing the areas as police no-go zones. The compounds were used to disassemble stolen cars and send them to the West Bank and to distribute drugs, Sneh said. "When a crime organization declares a compound to be off-limits, and police are afraid to enter, criminal car bombs in Tel Aviv are not far off," one of Sneh's campaign officials told The Jerusalem Post. Accompanied by several Special Patrol Officers and surrounded by journalists, Sneh stood outside a fenced-in compound owned by the Daka family in Jaffa. As curious locals gathered to listen, Sneh said the "crime kingdom" behind him was off-limits to law enforcement agencies, due to the government's failure to provide police with the resources, legal, and moral support to raid the compounds. "Israel stops outside of these fences of fear," Sneh said. "The police don't have the means to enter," he added, stating that Public Security Minister Avi Dichter failed to raise sufficient government support. "This is public land that has been forcibly taken over. Nearby are schools and civilians, who the government does not care about," Sneh added. Referring to the attempted mob hit at a Bat Yam beach in July in which Marguerita Lautinare was shot dead in front of her husband and two young children, Sneh said, "The fact that a woman went with her family to the beach and returned to the Abu Kabir mortuary instead of her home is the issue." Sneh called for the administrative detention of mobsters who put the public at risk. "If they do it to terrorists, why not mobsters?" he asked. "It does not matter who blows up the public. Terrorists and criminals should get the same treatment." Muhammad, a resident of the Daka compound, emerged from behind the metal fences and spoke to journalists. "I'm not one of the big guys," he said. "The police give us respect. They don't bother us," he added. However, he denied that any illegal activities went on in the area. Sneh then toured a second compound owned by the Abu Sif family, receiving a rowdy response from locals. Evading a direct confrontation with Abu Sif members, Sneh told journalists: "The government paid this family a large sum of money to leave this [public land]. After receiving the payment, the family stayed." A woman who lived in the area approached Sneh, telling him in Russian that life had become intolerable because of criminal activities. "The poor suffer here because they can't afford to move out. The same is true of the health service, which does not provide cancer treatments to those who can't afford them," Sneh said. He added that the family in control of the compound sent stolen auto parts to the Hariri and Abdul Qadr families in Taibe, a charge angrily denied by a man who emerged from the compound. "I'm one of the big guys," he told journalists. Asked why neighbors were scared of the family, the man, who identified himself as Abu Sif, bellowed, "Who is scared? Just now, we attended an event held by neighbors. You have to sit down with a person before you can get to know him." Abu Sif described the area as "a good neighborhood," adding that the family owned a legitimate car washing business. "Maybe one generation [strayed into crime]," he said. "Come here and see what happens. We are completely against killing," Abu Sif added, inviting journalists into the compound.