Are Police’s ‘Undercover Arabs’ Harassing Jews?
Last year it was revealed that police had used a special forces unit in undercover operations against Jews suspected of attacking Arabs. As part of the "operations", officers disguised themselves as Arabs and approached Jewish communities in a threatening way.
However, the undercover operations caused great concern among Jewish residents, who had believed they were actually under attack. After one particular incident was made public, Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich assured Israelis in Judea and Samaria that he would put a stop to the practice.
Now Israelis in Givat Ronen, in Samaria (Shomron), have accused police of continuing the practice despite their promises.
Witnesses told Arutz Sheva that what initially appeared to be an Arab attack last Monday was almost certainly a police operation.
On Monday afternoon, several men dressed in Arab style, and with their faces covered, began approaching Givat Ronen. The community’s security officer called for backup from the IDF, but there was no response.
Fearing for the community’s safety, the officer then issued a call to local men to come help him move the Arab men back from the town’s border. The small community has been subjected to multiple infiltration attempts in the past, and in one case Arabs who approached the town started a fire that came dangerously close to local homes.
The security officer, Yehoshua Tzur, says the men he saw were clearly threatening. “Their intent was obvious,” he recalled.
Different curses arouse suspicion
Several local men responded to Tzur’s call for help. When they approached the Arabs, however, they noted that something was strange.
“They cursed us and insulted us, but the curses revealed that they were not Arab. Their style of speech was different… They used different curses,” they explained. “There was something inauthentic about them.”
Residents filmed the encounter. They later reviewed the tape. They say that despite the fact that the “Arab” men’s faces were covered, at least one of the men is clearly one of the officers who was involved in the incident in Susya last year.
‘What did they want us to do?’
“Maybe their goal was that one of us would throw a stone, or maybe even draw his weapon, and then they would have a reason to arrest us,” Tzur said. “But you can’t leave us afraid that an enemy element is approaching with no military response. What did they want us to do?
“How did they want us to respond when the army wasn’t responding, and suspicious figures were approaching a town full of children?” he demanded.
“We cannot accept this. We demand to know who was behind the order to act in such an irresponsible way,” he added.
Residents of Susya warned last year that undercover officers who deliberately act threateningly could frighten an Israeli local into opening fire under the impression that his life was being threatened.
The residents’ allegations raise questions about the behavior of both the Israel Police and the IDF. The IDF declined to issue a statement regarding the allegations.
The Israel Police, too, declined to respond to the specific charges, but said, “Police in the Judea and Samaria district will enforce the law throughout the district, using a variety of operations carried out according to law and in coordination with the IDF.”