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Police Drill Injuries are Proof of Violence, Residents Say

The Shomron Residents Committee and others say the injuring of dozens of policemen during a riot-control exercise is proof of police violence.
By Hillel Fendel
First Publish: 12/18/2008, 4:52 PM

The Shomron Residents Committee was quick to react to the news that dozens of policemen had been injured during a riot-control exercise.

“The violent show put on by Israel Police is the best proof of our claims regarding the iron fist that the police use against the Jewish residents,” the Committee said.

Some 6,000 policemen were engaged in a massive drill for riot-control and other emergency measures on Thursday; some 50 were lightly injured when they “riot-controlled” each other too forcefully at some of the drill venues. One broken hand and several broken fingers were suffered.

The drill took place at the Tze’elim army base in the Negev.

“If this is how they hit their friends during a drill,” the Shomron Committee statement reads, “then it can certainly be understood what happens when this violence is turned towards the Jewish residents, with the approval and encouragement of the media and the political echelons.”

Yesha Civil Rights: Perhaps Now They Will Investigate
The Civil Rights Organization of Yesha, headed by Orit Strook of Hevron, issued this statement: “We have been warning for years of the continuing disregard by the police of regulations and restrictions on using force. When the victims were ‘just’ demonstrators or regular citizens, no one cared to investigate seriously. But now that those hurt were policemen, perhaps the real lessons will finally be learned.”

The Land of Israel Legal Forum also reacted to the news of the police injuries, calling upon Public Security Minister Avi Dichter to initiate a public inquiry into the events.

Forum Director Nachi Eyal said, “If dozens of policemen are injured in a mere exercise, we can see that we have a big problem and that we have unrestrained policemen who employ unreasonable violence.”

Police officials, including Commissioner Dudi Cohen, summed up the police exercise as a success.

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