Police chief: Fighting violence – a national priority
Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, heading a delegation of senior police officers, toured the streets of Tel Aviv overnight, following the series of violent incidents plaguing the city over the past few weeks.
The surge in violence has prompted the police to bolster its physical presence on the ground across all major Israeli cities.
The move is part of the police's efforts to restore the public's sense of safety, which Danino admitted has taken a serious blow.
Speaking before a Knesset's Internal Affairs Committee hearing on Wednesday, the commissioner vowed to spare no effort to restore street-safety.
Friday nights' tour began at the Tel Aviv District Police headquarters, where Danino stressed that while the police sees the fight against violence as a "top national mission," the department's limited resources prevent it from tackling it solely.
"We've decided to launch 'Operation Night Watchmen,' which was meant for the summer, immediately," he said. "We aim to significantly increase deployment in known high-traffic centers… and I hope it improves the public's sense of safety."
The recent crime wave, he added, "Proves that our previously-set goals were correct: Apprehending perpetrators, determined enforcement, fighting violence unwaveringly and increasing the number of indictments.
"Today we urge anyone who can join us in the fight against violence to do so – this is a national struggle, not just a police one."
The officers also visited the police 100 Emergency Line center, and were briefed in the hundreds of calls flooding it. The call-center dealt with over 2,400 calls on Friday, routed through only 20 operators. Police sources said that the heavy workload results in many calls being missed.
Shiri Hadar contributed to this report