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Police incitement in Shilo Bloc region

Thursday, October 23, 2014, 20:22 Following a report from Shiloh Bloc residents in the Binyamin region on the preparations by the police for incidents of incitement designed to result in their detention, Honeu would like to alert the public about unacceptable activity by the Yehuda and Shomron District Police, whose goal is to make headlines during the olive harvest season. Shilo Bloc residents complained in the beginning of the week of Sunday, October 19 that policemen from the Yehuda and Shomron District Police, almost certainly from the Department of Nationalist Crime, planned to stage an incident in the area of the Achiya and Esh Kodesh communities with the aim of causing residents to react in a manner which would lead the police to detain them. The detentions would then be widely publicized in the news media. The Secretariat Heads of Achiya, Esh Kodesh, and nearby Adei Ad wrote a scathing letter to Major General Kobi Cohen, the Yehuda and Shomron District Police Commander, complaining that on Sunday, October 19, numerous undercover police detectives arrived at the soldiers’ living quarters in the community of Achiya with photography and surveillance equipment. Simultaneously large numbers of Yassam (Special Forces) and other police forces situated themselves in the nearby Shilo Industrial Zone. According to reports, the detectives demanded that the soldiers, who were surprised by sudden appearance of the policemen, not inform the regional security coordinator of their presence. However by order of their commander the soldiers informed the regional security coordinator of the arrival of the detectives. At the moment that the soldiers reported on the presence of the detectives they left the scene and also the other police forces left the Shilo Industrial Zone, apparently after they understood that their plan would not be carried out. “There is no need to speculate on this operation. It is obvious beyond a reasonable doubt that it is being carried out without informing the regional security coordinator and what is worse is that it [is being carried out] in a manner which intentionally conceals from him this information,” wrote the secretariat heads. “We regard this operation with great severity and as crossing all red lines. When the Israeli Police carries out an undercover operation from which a very bad odor emanates, it seems that the entire purpose is to create incitement, at this most sensitive time, just before the beginning of the regional olive harvest season.” In their letter the secretariat heads mentioned other similar incidents of incitement caused by the police in Yehuda and Shomron, including the Binyamin region, which indicate a pattern. In those incidents policemen arrived disguised as Arabs and caused incidents of incitement near the Jewish communities with the aim of forcing the residents to react. As soon as clashes broke out large numbers of police forces suddenly appeared on the scene who detained the residents. It must be mentioned that the courts have leveled harsh criticism against this type of operation, which causes a great security risk. Also the Minister of Internal Security Yitzhak Aharonovitch sent a response to the Arutz Sheva news site stating that operations of this type would not be repeated. After undercover policemen disguised as Arabs were used against the residents of Susiya, Aharonovitch’s spokesman wrote that, “When the Minister was informed about the above-mentioned incident the issue was raised at an evaluation of the situation at which it was made clear that the Israeli Police would not have forces using this method again.” Following the most recent incident in the Shilo Bloc region Honenu warns that incidents of police incitement may occur during the olive harvest season and calls on the police to stop their dangerous behavior. “The department [the Department of Nationalist Crime] established in the Yehuda and Shomron District Police for the purpose of dealing with Jews numbers dozens of detectives and investigators who are obligated to justify their existence and the huge budgets invested in them,” says Honenu. “Currently, as the olive harvest season approaches, we are concerned that the vast resources will be diverted to the negative purpose of planning incidents of incitement, specifically in order to bring about widely publicized detentions of residents defending their lives and their property. At this sensitive time we call on Minister of Internal Security Aharonovitch to devote the resources of the Department of Nationalist Crime to dealing with genuine crime, the increasing Arab terror, and to station policemen in East Jerusalem and the roads of Yehuda and Shomron,” added Honenu. Honenu notes that incidents of incitement, such as the one in Achiya, have occurred over the past few years in Susiya, Havat Gilad, Ramat Migron, Bat Ayin, Yitzhar, Givat Ronen, Jerusalem, communities in the Shilo Bloc and other sites. In a significant number of instances the residents discovered the undercover policemen and thwarted the incitement attempt, however in Havat Gilad and Susiya clashes developed which led to detentions and indictments of residents who mistook the disguised policemen for Arabs who had infiltrated into the area of their community and then tried to drive them out. Since those incidents the Israeli Police have founded the Department of Nationalist Crime and the usage of this problematic method of undercover policemen against residents of Yehuda and Shomron has increased.

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