The lengthy debate over who will oversee Israel's urban police force may be resolved soon, as a senior source in the Prime Minister's Office told Ynet Sunday that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is likely to side with Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch on the matter.
Aharonovitch wants the Israel Police to oversee the activities of urban police forces, and not the respective municipalities.
The recent surge in violence, which claimed the lives of 10 people in two weeks, prompted Aharonovitch to press the matter of establishing an urban police force.
The suggestion was approved in July, but a budgetary dispute between Aharonovitch and Finance Minister Yuval Steinitz resulted in a decision to form a ministerial committee to study the matter further.
Steinitz suggested that the Israeli urban police be modeled after its US counterpart – i.e. be made a full part of the municipality, with the mayor overseeing its actions; while Aharonovitch insisted that the urban police must answer to the Israel Police.
The ministerial committee has yet to convene.
A senior source in the Prime Minister's Office said the recent spike in violence prompted Netanyahu to make the matter a top priority.
A homeland security source told Ynet that according to the ministry's assessments, forming an urban police force is Israel is likely to cost hundreds of millions of shekels.
Meanwhile, Aharonovitch instructed Police Commissioner Dudi Cohen to deploy mass police forces in city streets, but sources within the police department said that the force would no be able to keep that up indefinitely.