Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen announced Sunday that next month the Israel Police will usher in a new, FBI-like unit dedicated to fighting organized crime.
The new unit will consist of some 900 policemen and will be headed by Commander Yoav Segalovich, Cohen told cabinet members.
"This (unit) will tilt the scales in our favor," the police chief said.
The unit will also be tasked with conducting complex investigations, and its members will be equipped with advanced intelligence apparatus.
Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter said during the weekly cabinet meeting that Israel has seen a major increase in the use of weapons by members of the major crime syndicates, including explosive devices and grenades.
"Most of the weapons are stolen from army bases; I urge the IDF to tighten security on its weapons caches," he said. "The most significant aspect of the fight against organized crime includes the recruitment of 1,000 officers to reinforce the police stations."
The minister also addressed Israel's border with Egypt, saying it was often breached. Dichter presented statistics according to which some 500,000 vials of heroin were seized along the border this past year, and said that "one can only imagine the amount of drugs we weren't able to put our hands on."
The statistics also showed that about 600 people, mainly from Sudan and Eritrea, infiltrated Israel last November alone, and that some 4,500 infiltrators were currently residing in the country. About 1,000 of them are being held in Israel's overcrowded prisons.