Israel forms special unit to confront Arab violence in Jerusalem

The members of the unit are all volunteers who asked for a chance to help out in difficult areas.

By Batya Jerenberg, World Israel News

A special volunteer police unit has been established to enforce law and order in largely Arab sectors of Jerusalem, Israel Hayom reported Thursday.

Former members of the security services make up the unit, geared specifically to fight the violence and crime in the Arab sector of the city.

Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan claims credit as the driving force behind its creation. “This unit provides the police with more strength and combines high operational capabilities that will enable it to act against the security challenges in East Jerusalem,” he told Israel Hayom.

Force multiplier

The men, who already went out on their first assignment, met with Erdan and senior police officials, including Kedem Region Commander Doron Turgeman. He said, “We need the best volunteers in the region, and there is no doubt that the new unit will be an important force multiplier.”

The newest additions to the force all have experience fighting terrorism and have all graduated from a special course in security run by the Shin Bet, Israel’s Security Agency.

The volunteers underwent training in standard police procedures, including checkpoints, investigations, and illegal Arabs residents. They also received field training in the area they will patrol, the report said.

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Erdan voiced optimism about enlisting more highly-qualified, challenge-loving recruits from the thousands that have anti-terrorism experience – and not necessarily in Jerusalem.

“In the future we hope to establish additional special volunteer units for areas plagued by crime and violence,” he said.