Knesset panel meets on violent crime


JERUSALEM (JTA) — A Knesset committee held an emergency session on Israel’s recent wave of violent crimes.

The meeting of the Interior Committee, held during the Israeli parliament’s summer recess, was called following a record 13 murders in the last month. 

Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch defended the Israel Police and called for more funds to help fight crime. He said the police are not responsible for the increase in crime.

"Whoever seeks the easy solution is mistaken," Aharonovitch said. "The problems are more complex. It starts from home, past school, past parental control over the children, and later we meet them on the roads, on the streets and in the clubs."

Committee chairman David Rotem of the Yisrael Beiteinu Party said he would introduce a bill to increase the minimum punishment for violent crimes.

Knesset Speaker Reuven Rivlin attended the meeting and expressed his concern.

"I used to think the rumors about protection money were an exaggeration, but I’ve been hearing them more and more, and receiving letters addressed to the Knesset from people asking to come and protest that life in Israel is becoming more and more difficult," he told the committee.

Rivlin said he would put forward bills designed to fight crime as well as to assist victims.

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