As the Muslim holiday month of Ramadan nears, Shabak (Israel Security Agency) has begun carefully watching what happens on the "Jewish side" of mixed cities, Makor Rishon reported Friday morning.
Ramadan will begin this year on April 2, and end on May 2. The month is traditionally a tense time in Israel, since terror attacks often become more frequent during that time. Last year, Ramadan spanned the month between April 12 and May 12, and incitement, riots, and rockets during the last weeks of Ramadan sparked a war lasting until May 21.
According to the Makor Rishon report, members of Shabak's "Jewish Department" recently met with the leaders of Jewish communities in mixed cities, including the leaders of "Torah seed" groups, and requested their cooperation in passing information on local gatherings, so as to prevent a renewal of the riots.
"Sources presenting themselves as Shabak officials from the Jewish Department turned to us and wanted to make sure that we are all good children," a leader of one of the communities said. According to him, the organization's representative explained that they "are working very hard to be prepared for the next time, in every sense."
A security guard in another mixed city in central Israel said that the fact that they called the meeting specifically for intelligence purposes angers him: "In a well-administered society, I would expect a Shabak coordinator to meet with the leaders of Jewish communities ahead of Ramadan in order to present the threats and their estimates, and to see how the community can prepare - not in order to supposedly prevent illegal action on the part of the Jews."
"It's infuriating and insulting," Keren Eshchar, a resident of Lod and a member of the Mixed Cities Forum, told Makor Rishon. "I don't understand how the system still lives with the feeling that we are the ones attacking here. It left us alone at home while hundreds of rioters were wandering around outside, and only by miracle they didn't come in, so when did we become the risk factors?"