Israel Establishes National Guard to Boost Domestic Security
TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett and Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev announced on Tuesday the creation of a so-called "National Guard" force, designed to boost domestic security.
The prime minister's office claimed the National Guard would "strengthen the internal security of the State of Israel and the personal security of Israeli citizens." The new force will operate as part of the Border Police (Magav) and will be capable of addressing disturbances and emergencies in several areas at the same time. The guard will comprise reserve units and volunteers, the office specified.
"The Israel National Guard begins its operation. For me this is [a chance] to draw the bottom line. I came into office when Israel was licking its wounds from Operation Guardian of the Walls. We saw violent riots in Lod, Acre, in different parts of the country. Everybody understood that while we talk about Iran and Hezbollah, domestic problem starts gestating," Bennet said.
The creation of a new security force was largely prompted by the bitter lessons learned during Palestinian riots in May 2021 over an Israeli court's decision to evict several Palestinian families from the East Jerusalem neighborhood. Multiple mixed Jewish-Arab cities saw clashes between the populations, with the Israeli police unprepared to deal with the disturbances.
Following the escalation, Palestinian groups from the Gaza Strip reportedly fired over 4,000 missiles toward the Israeli territory. In retaliation, the Israeli forces launched Operation Guardian of the Walls, striking a number of Hamas terrorist targets in the Gaza Strip.
This is likely to be Bennett's farewell policy after he defended on Monday the decision to dissolve the parliament after the ruling coalition lost its majority. His coalition ally, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid, is set to take over as prime minister during the transition period under their power-sharing deal.
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