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      Police Raid Homes in Beit Shemesh, Find 250 Forged ID Cards

      Police Chief: Over 700 reports of forgery and public disorder during a busy election day.
      By Adam Ross
      First Publish: 10/22/2013, 10:57 PM

      Counting votes at the central election committee
      Counting votes at the central election committee
      Flash 90

      Police have seized  250 forged identity cards in Beit Shemesh.

      Israel's Police Chief Yohanan Danino said Tuesday evening that officers had acted on information police had received and had raided two homes in the city where the forged ID cards were found. He added that eight suspects had been arrested and taken in for questioning.

      The elections in Beit Shemesh have been fraught with tension amid controversy over extremist religious violence and hareidi-secular tension in the city.

      Chief Commissioner Danino was holding a press conference with Interior Minister MK Gidon Saar (Likud), reporting on a busy day for police keeping order at polling stations across the country.

      Danino said police had been called to 700 incidents of varying nature, including reports of forged identity cards and public disorder and disturbances as Israelis voted.

      Meanwhile Saar said the introduction of new bio-metric identity cards would stamp out future forgeries.

      "If we had the new intelligent [identity] cards no one would try and make forgeries," he said, adding that he hoped the new cards would be used by the next round of city elections in 2018.

      Danino said that the police had been working closely together with the Interior Ministry on the issue of identity card forgery for months ahead of Tuesday's elections.

      He also said 13,000 police had been deployed across the country to ensure the voting process was carried out according  to law.