Ahead of ‘day of paralysis,’ Shabtai stresses that the Israel Police is ‘apolitical’

Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai speaks at a security exhibition in the South Sharon Regional Council on March 21, 2023. (Gideon Markowicz/Flash90)
Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai speaks at a security exhibition in the South Sharon Regional Council on March 21, 2023. (Gideon Markowicz/Flash90)

Following a situation assessment meeting ahead of tomorrow’s protest “day of paralysis,” Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai stresses that the police force is “apolitical” and views protests as a cornerstone of democracy.

“The Israel Police allows legitimate protests within the law, balancing that with freedom of movement and maintaining routine,” Shabtai says in a statement.

Nevertheless, he adds, police will not allow roads to be blocked and will show “zero tolerance” toward any violence or disorder.

The meeting was held without the presence of National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir — who was told by the High Court earlier this week that he was barred from issuing operational orders to police.

Protest activists are planning a full day of rallies and demonstrations across Israel for tomorrow and are fully expected to try and block major thoroughfares, including the Ayalon Highway in Tel Aviv.

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