Police Deny Hiding Incriminating Evidence Against Top Official
The Israeli Police made a statement for the first time Friday afternoon on rumors circulating the Israeli media that a major piece of news incriminating top police officials was under a media embargo.
"As of last night, we witnessed various media publications publish headlines and hints that a report could discredit 30,000 dedicated police officers who worked day and night for the security of Israeli citizens," the police said.
"If there is a case," the police added, the details are nowhere to be found.
"The media should have waited and avoided meaningless publications based on estimates and speculation," it said, slamming outlets which listed "unrelated events" to "escalate drama and harm Israeli police at its core."
Various reports in Hebrew media stated overnight that a "major development" had been made in internal investigations over the police, which recently revealed that it would dismiss five top-ranking officers over the poor handling of the 100 emergency hotline call to police by murdered teen Gilad Sha'ar.
The call took place at 10:25 p.m. on June 12, lasted in total for 2:09 minutes - most of which was comprised of the police trying to resume contact after Gilad abruptly stopped talking, after being found out by the Hamas terrorists.
Some of the tape consists of garbled pleas by Gilad for help, with the police respondent saying “hello?” in response, apparently not understanding what is being said to him. Eventually he does get the message and asks the youth where he is, but at that point, Gilad is cut off.
In the background, various noises are heard including shouts by the kidnappers at the youths to “keep their heads down,” an Israel Radio program, several gunshots – and, it was revealed Wednesday afternoon, singing by the terrorists.
Police apparently thought that the call was a hoax, and ignored it until the parents of one of the youths filed a missing person's report at 3:00 a.m. It was still several hours before police connected the frantic call with the report.
The police have been under intense scrutiny since the call was leaked, and were forced to state Wednesday that they have not orchestrated its publication after rumors of a plot to shift blame for the abduction.