Minister Litzman:
'It's police harassment; bring them to justice'

Construction and Housing Minister appeals to Internal Security Minister following video of police detaining 13-year-old girl in Jerusalem.

Mordechai Sones ,

Police force mask compliance
Police force mask compliance
Flash 90

Construction and Housing Minister Yaakov Litzman this evening spoke with Internal Security Minister Amir Ohana, asking him to examine in-depth the conduct of the police officers who detained a 13-year-old girl on a Jerusalem street in attempt to cite her for not wearing a face mask.

Minister Litzman made it clear that with all understanding of police officer's job in these complex days, the haredi public's painful saga is mounting in the face of "repeated police harassment cases, with a basic insensitivity to the helpless, such as this shocking case where a young girl is made to cry in the street, and face police officers' harsh and harassing behavior.

"These police officers must be brought to justice to ensure that we don't repeat such behavior again in our areas," Litzman added.

Internal Security Minister Amir Ohana told Minister Litzman that he intends to immediately contact the Jerusalem District Police Chief Yaron Yadid for a quick and thorough clarification of the case and to emphasize the importance of respect for human dignity and haredi public space, especially in the days of coronavirus.

The video shows a 13-year-old haredi girl walking a baby stroller being detained by police for not wearing a face mask. The police officers did not allow the girl to continue on her way, even though she burst into tears and found it difficult to regain her calm.

The girl's mother told Channel 12 News: "The girl was wearing a mask. She took off just for a drink. They told her they were writing a ticket. My daughter didn't start crying because they corrected her. We see that they ask her mother's number and where she lives and what her name is. What for? If they would have pointed it out to her, she'd have been told 'put on the mask' and she'd have put the mask on, she'd understand that. She's a grown girl. She cried all the way home and even now we can't seem to calm her down."

Deputy Education Minister Meir Porush responded to the video, saying, "It's a heartbreaking sight to see police looking to ticket a crying girl for not wearing a mask.

"I ask the public to produce such a photo of a police officer giving a ticket to a secular girl. This, apart from the fact that the Knesset approved imposing a NIS 500 fine, which is disproportionate and scandalous according to all opinions," added Porush.

United Torah Judaism MK Rabbi Yisrael Eichler said: "The secular regime turns anti-Semitic in the shadow of coronavirus. The haredi public cannot defend itself against those who rise up against us like the worst enemies. A cop who feels he can bully a little girl doesn't do it alone. It is instigated by an anti-Semitic establishment of politicians, judges, and media outlets who are enemies of haredi Jews.

"The police have lost control over the hostility of anti-haredi policemen. People live in fear and say police are more dangerous than the coronavirus pandemic. The anti-Semitic masses see every haredi child spreading potential bacteria, and they work off of that assumption. Liberman and Lapid talk about violence in the streets following coronavirus and this is the result."

Eichler added, "I urge the Prime Minister and Internal Security Minister to immediately fire these brutal police officers, to convey a message that they don't represent the State. The police officers must be promptly instructed: Any police officer who gives a ticket to a minor at such an age will be fired immediately."

Yamina MK Betzalel Smotrich added that "too many videos have been going around in recent days about unnecessary insistence and violence around regulations enforcement. This isn't the way to create a rapport and it doesn't increase civilian compliance. That's how you produce opposite results. More caution is needed with the haredi public, that rightly feels that it's suffering discrimination and discriminatory over-enforcement.

"Israel Police: You have an important and complex role these days and I'm really not jealous of you. But if you use healthy reason and common sense you'll enhance civilian compliance and not hurt it like in this case. A thirteen-year-old girl with her little brothers shouldn't have such trauma for life. Hand her a mask, add a smile, and let her go," Smotrich wrote on Twitter.

The Israeli Police said: "Contrary to allegations, the police met a 13.5-year-old girl on the street without a mask on her face against regulations, but they did not issue her a ticket at all. The police asked her to put a mask on her face and released her. This is but another false and completely distorted publication as part of a deliberate campaign currently underway against the police and police officers working for public health."

Police force mask compliance
Flash 90



top