Security Minister Admits Police Criticism Justified
Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich on Wednesday visited the Makor Chaim Yeshiva high school in Kfar Etzion, the school of two of the three teenagers kidnapped by Hamas terrorists last Thursday. Speaking at the school he admitted that there had been some failures on the part of Israeli police in handling the case.
It was revealed Sunday that the kidnapped teens made an emergency call to police minutes after the kidnapping, only to be dismissed as pranksters. Just one day before, it surfaced that the police acted slowly in alerting the military, resulting in a significant and potentially crucial time lapse between when parents reported the kidnapping to the police, and the notification of security sources and the IDF by police over the issue.
Aharonovich acknowledged that the criticism being heard against the police is justified, saying "we need to check things. I heard a recording of the (emergency call phone) conversation, and in the coming days it will be published for the public."
The minister's words follow statements by two top-ranking police officers on Monday, both of whom reiterated the commitment to launch an investigation over the issue, but stated that the priority now is focusing on the search for the missing boys.
When asked by Arutz Sheva correspondents about the decision Tuesday by the Knesset Security Cabinet, which gave Aharonovich a freer hand to make the prison conditions of jailed Hamas terrorists harsher, the minister said the conditions have already been made harsher in recent years.
"Yesterday the Cabinet decided to appoint me (with those powers) to take stringent steps, and I gave orders to conduct them in the coming days. These are harsh steps, and I will not specify," stated Aharonovich.
Released terrorists have revealed on Palestinian Authority (PA) official TV how they enjoyed a life of ease in Israeli prisons. They have also in the past been allowed to pursue a university degree by taking academic courses.