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Chief Shimon Koren
Photo: Doron Golan
Photo: Elag Gershgoren
Radio presenter Zoher Bahalul
Photo: Elag Gershgoren
Akko Riots
Photo: Hagai Aharon
Police official meets with Akko’s Arab leadership
Northern District Police Chief Shimon Koren holds Saturday meeting with Arab contingents, awaiting Shabbat’s end to conduct meeting with Jewish counterparts. Police will act determinedly against obstructers of law, he says, ‘whether they are Arab or Jewish’
A tense calm pervaded the streets of Akko on Saturday evening, a welcome change from the riots that paralyzed the city for three consecutive nights. In the hopes of maintaining the newfound calm, Northern District Police Chief Shimon Koren met Saturday afternoon with Akko's Arab leadership to discuss the situation and the police's response to the riots.

 

The police said a similar meeting would be held with the city's Jewish representatives later in the evening, after Shabbat.

 

Present at the meeting were MK Abbas Zkoor (United Arab List-Ta'al), radio presenter Zoher Bahalul and additional prominent figures from the Arab community.

 

Koren presented the police's perspective of the riots and asked the leaders to help calm their followers. He asked the Arab contingents for their cooperation, urging them to report any incidents or changes of current brought to their attention. In turn he promised the police would brief them reciprocally.

 

Koren asked those present to put an end to the spreading of false rumors throughout the community, which ended up inciting the violent riots.

 

"After all, these grave events all began because of a rumor that the driver who entered the Jewish neighborhood on Yom Kippur was injured,” said a police official.

 

Moreover, Koren clarified that the police would act determinedly against those disrupting law and order, “whether they are Arab or Jewish. We stand between the two sides now, at the moment mainly opposite Jews intent on revenge,” Koren told the Arab leaders.

 

“I call upon the Arab public to exhibit patience and temperance,” he added.

 

At the end of the meeting Koren told Ynet that he,“expects both sides to act responsibly.” According to him, “we are doing and will continue to do everything we can in order to prevent the continued friction and acts of violence.”

 

Police remain in the city

The police confirmed they are in continual contact with representatives from Akko’s Jewish leadership, including Mayor Shimon Lankry and the various neighborhood committees.

 

Following the meeting and in light of the police's security assessment on Saturday morning, it was decided that all forces currently present in Akko will remain there.

 

There are approximately 700 security personnel currently deployed in Akko, comprised of police officers, Border Guard troops, special police forces and detectives working 12-hour shifts.

 

Twelve people were arrested in Friday's riots, three residents were lightly injured, as were several police officers and two apartments belonging to Arab residents were torched.

 

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