Police: We do not anticipate riots like at the US Capitol

20,000 cops to be deployed to secure Tuesday’s election

3,500 officers, some undercover, will wear bodycams at polling stations to prevent election tampering and voter fraud; 400 locations said identified as ‘prone to trouble’

Illustrative -- Police officer on January 11, 2021 (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)
Illustrative -- Police officer on January 11, 2021 (Yossi Aloni/Flash90)

Twenty thousand police officers will be deployed on election day to secure the proceedings, with cops stationed outside ballot stations flagged as potential flashpoints, the Kan public broadcaster reported Monday.

As well as potential vote-tampering in the election, Israel’s fourth in two years, police will also be on the lookout Tuesday for violators of quarantine and COVID-19 patients who show up to cast their ballot at their regular polling stations, instead of specially designated spots.

There will be 3,500 officers with body cameras sent to polling stations in an effort to record any suspicious behavior, and undercover teams will also be sent to a number of locations to prevent potential election tampering or voter fraud, Hebrew-language media reported.

According to the Ynet news site, police have highlighted around 400 polling stations that are “prone to trouble,” and teams will be specifically sent to polling stations where “unusual events” have been recorded in the past.

Israelis count the remaining ballots at the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, a day after the general elections, early on March 4, 2020. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Shimon Nachmani, head of Israel Police’s Operations Division, said the force “does not anticipate riots such as the one that occurred in Capitol Hill in Washington DC,” nor does it “have any information on attempts to disrupt the election.”

Regardless, “police are prepared for any scenario.”

Last week Yisrael Beytenu chairman Avigdor Liberman claimed without evidence that Netanyahu was planning a riot similar to the January 6 insurrection at the US Capitol carried out by supporters of former president Donald Trump who refused to accept his election loss.

Nachmani said that the force had completed preparations for the nationwide vote, despite the pandemic.

“The current election system poses many challenges that the police must face, and here we are [ready] having completed all the preparations,” Nachmani said. “The police are doing everything to meet the most important goal — to allow every citizen to exercise their right on election day to go to the polls and vote safely.”

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