Photo: Gil Nechushtan
Maj.-Gen. Zohar Dvir
Photo: Gil Nechushtan
Police chief candidate said culpable for lynching of Syrian in Israel
Danino reportedly asked Northern District head to provide police escort to military ambulances transporting wounded Syrians, 12 hours before Syrian killed in mob attack on ambulance.

Even though then-police commissioner Yohanan Danino ordered police escort for ambulances carrying wounded Syrians for treatment in Israel, such escort was not provided on the night of June 22, resulting in the lynching of one Syrian and critical wounding of another.



The lynching occurred on the same day as a similar incident in which an ambulance carrying wounded Syrians through the local council of Hurfeish in the Upper Galilee was attacked by a mob of Druze, angry at the slaughter of their people in the war-torn Syria.


The angry mob hurled stones at the military ambulance and tried to block its path, demanding to know who was on the ambulance. The incident ended without harm to those in the ambulance, but a 54-year-old Hurfeish native was moderately hurt when the ambulance hit him while fleeing the mob.


Former police commissioner Danino, right, with Maj.-Gen. Zohar Dvir (Photo: Police Spokesman)
Former police commissioner Danino, right, with Maj.-Gen. Zohar Dvir (Photo: Police Spokesman)


The morning after the incident in Hurfeish the Israel Police held its weekly meeting of the high-ranked command, during which they discussed the attack on the ambulance.


Then-commissioner Danino said the mob attack was a "grave" incident and asked Northern District Commander, Maj.-Gen. Zohar Dvir, to coordinate with the IDF in order to provide police escorts to the ambulances.


Danino asked to ensure "there won't be any surprises" and, according to one of the officers present in that meeting, asked Dvir to inform Police Operations Chief Aharon Aksol if extra forces were needed to provide security for the ambulances.


That evening, an ambulance was making its way from the Golan Heights to the Galilee Medical Center in Nahariya, accompanied by only one jeep of Military Police.


Near Majdal Shams, the ambulance encountered 150 Druze rioters who attacked it, chasing it to Neve Ativ and hurling stones at it. The two wounded Syrians on board, who were in serious condition when arriving to Israel, were critically wounded. One of the Syrians later succumbed to his wounds.


The scene of the attack.
The scene of the attack.


The troops in the Military Police jeep were helpless facing the mob.


And so, only 12 hours after the meeting of the police's top brass, a mob once again attacked a military ambulance, hurting not just the Syrian patients on board, but also two soldiers.


Police laid the responsibility for the lynching on the army. The IDF, meanwhile, claimed that since the attack was committed by lawbreaking civilians inside the borders of Israel, it was the police's responsibility to stop them.


The Israel Police did learn from the attacks on June 22, and now military ambulances are regularly escorted by police.


Less than two months later, Dvir became one of the three final candidates for police commissioner.


"This is an outrage," said one high-ranking officer. "There was an inquiry commission after the stabbing at the pride parade, and there the police didn't know what could happen, while an incident in the north that police actually held a discussion about - with the entire top command - is swept under the rug."


The Police's Northern District said in response: "Contrary to the claims raised in the report, there was no wrongdoing found in the conduct of the district in both incidents. The district acted in line with the law, its authorities and the instructions it received. This also appears in the protocol of the Israel Police senior command meeting. We regret that interest groups are slandering us while ignoring the fact there was no wrongdoing found in the district's conduct, including its conduct after the incident, which included the arrest of dozens of suspects and bringing the perpetrators to justice."


פרסום ראשון: 08.16.15, 10:39
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