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Expert: Israeli Police 'Hand-Cuffed' In Face of Riots

Dr. David Bukai concerned over the Arab 'show of force' expected on 'Nakba' days, especially from Israeli Arabs; police 'hand-cuffed' he says.
By Gabe Kahn.
First Publish: 5/13/2011, 3:04 PM / Last Update: 5/13/2011, 4:18 PM

Flash 90

Middle East expert Dr. David Bukai expressed concern Thursday over the expected 'show of force' by Israeli Arabs on "Nakba Day" - Sunday, May 15th.

"The issue really bothers me," Bukai told Israel National News. "Israeli Arabs, Arab MKs, officials - Israel's Arab street is led through incitement. This is what disturbs me. The Arabs of Judea and Samaria... The IDF is prepared to handle any disturbances in Judea and Samaria... but I'm not sure the Israeli Police have the necessary tactics and resources to deal with disturbances by Israeli Arabs."

Dr. Bukai said, since the second Intifada in October 2000, the Israeli police have been working hand-cuffed. "The Israel Police is not the IDF. They are limited in their freedom of action. After the events of October [2000] the Israeli police are effectively hand-cuffed. The police can not, even if they want to, seize the initiative - mainly due to the fact that the government does not give our police the requisite tools to deal with Israeli Arabs. "

Bukai asserted the media's dark forecasts of Nakba Day violence may be self-fulfilling prophecies, "For Nakba Day, the Israeli media creates the expectation that there will be a wave of anger and violent incidents. This expectation may be realized because Israeli Arabs are in the spotlight. The best thing the media can do is turn off the cameras because the camera inflames the events."

Bukai also said Israeli Arabs will feel obligated try to produce the kind of violent demonstrations they have seen in Arab countries during the 'spring revolution,' which has rocked the region and shifted geopolitical realities.

"There is another dimension to consider," Bukai explained. "The entire Arab world is inflamed with large scale violence and the Palestinians have done nothing. No doubt they fear their status is in question and worry they are not making headlines. "

Senior Fatah official Abbas Zaki said Wednesday the PA would not be able to contain “Nakba Day rage.”

"Nakba," or "catastrophe," is the Arab reference for the creation of Israel, which occurred on May 15 on the secular calender. Israel celebrated the 63rd anniversary of its creation on Tuesday, in accordance with the Hebrew calendar.

Israel's security forces were put on alert and increased deployments Friday.