Rise in hate crimes, ‘price tag’ incidents leads Minister Aharonovitch to form special task force which will attempt to bring end to attacks. ‘We must institute zero tolerance policy against terror,’ he says
In light of the rise in nationalistically-motivated hate crimes and price tag incidents initiated by Jews, Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch said Monday that a special police unit will soon be established to combat the phenomenon.
“We must institute a zero tolerance policy against terror, the desecration of religious institutions, attacks on symbols of governance and attacks commonly known as ‘price tag,'” Aharonovitch said.
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“The new task force will be instituted in effort to deal with the disturbing phenomenon. We will bring those guilty to justice. We will not put up with this situation,” he added.
The minister further emphasized the need for both a government and private efforts when dealing with the issue. “In order to achieve this goal, various elements must come together, starting with government and law enforcement officials and the Israeli public.”
“We will continue serving the public and enforcing the law, but that’s not enough. Parents must take responsibility for their children’s actions; teachers must teach children respect and dignity and judges must not be lenient,” he added.
Aharonovitch’s comments come amid the police and Shin Bet’s failure to deal with the rise in “price tag” incidents and nationalistic hate crimes. Over the past two years, some 170 nationalistic hate crimes were reported. However, only 23 indictments were filed with the police.
An expert familiar with the issue, said “it is very difficult converting intelligence into evidence.”
Last week, vandals set fire to the entrance door of the Latrun Monastery and spray-painted slogans against the Christian religion on its walls, including names of West Bank outposts and “Jesus is a monkey”. The Jerusalem District Police launched a joint investigation into the incident together with the Shin Bet security service. However, thus far no suspects have been arrested.
The Ministry of Interior explained that the special task force will be formed within the next two months and will work with the relevant police districts. The unit will include dozens of policemen.