Daily Israel Report

MK Calls to Wait on Police Inquiry Until After Boys are Found

Yoni Chetboun encourages end to 'public assault' on police, says investigation hinders resources necessary for search.
By Tova Dvorin
First Publish: 6/20/2014, 12:51 PM

Israeli police (illustrative)
Israeli police (illustrative)
Flash90

MK Yoni Chetboun (Jewish Home) lamented the "public assault" on the Israeli Police Friday, stating that a full investigation into incompetence regarding the abduction of the three yeshiva students should be conducted only after Operation Brothers' Keeper is finished. 

"The preoccupation with critical discourse in times of war is nothing short of fueling terrorism, which could cost the boys' lives," Chetboun wrote in a letter to Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino. 

"The audit has quickly become a public assault that has no place during these critical times," he added. "The role of the audit is to investigate what happened after the fact, not now when we must focus on returning the boys." 

"Everything in its time, and during the operation there is no room for criticism," he said. "This is not the time to drift to matters that will divert our forces from achieving their goals. Currently, we should give strength to the police, who have been working tirelessly alongside security forces to return the boys home and bring down Hamas."

Chetboun stressed that he was not saying that the police should not undergo an audit at all, but rather that one should be held "after the operation, and only after the operation."

It was revealed Sunday that the kidnapped teens made an emergency call to police minutes after the kidnapping, only to be dismissed as pranksters

News first surfaced Saturday night that there was a significant time lapse between when parents reported the kidnapping to the police and the notification of security sources and the IDF over the issue.

As of Saturday, initial reports indicated a lapse of a few short hours, but some reports Sunday alleged that the gap may have been as much as eight hours.

According to Walla! news, the first inklings of a problem had been reported to police, or IDF officials, sometime prior to the first police report filed on the abduction at 3:00 a.m. Friday. A command post and checkpoint was established as soon as the police report was made, the source said, but the unit failed to report the incident to the IDF until over an hour later; the Israel Security Agency (ISA, or Shin Bet) was then notified shortly thereafter. 

Moreover, according to the report, the Judea-Samaria District Police were only notified of the early-morning call from concerned parents well into Friday morning; only still later was it clarified that the complaint indicated a kidnapping in Gush Etzion. 

Criticism has begun to be fired at the police forces for tarrying in the report, as time is crucial in a kidnapping case. Danino has promised to launch an investigation immediately into the issue,