National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir says he wants to significantly beef up Israel’s police force and create a new national volunteer unit, warning that another war and social upheaval is in the cards.
Ben Gvir tells a press conference that in every meeting he has had with officials from various security agencies, the threat of a second Guardians of the Walls comes up. Guardians of the Walls was the name Israel gave its May 2021 Gaza operation, though the name has also come to encompass the race riots that took place between Jews and Arabs in many cities at that same time.
“We need to come to ‘Guardians of the Wall 2’ prepared,” he says.
The minister, leader of the far-right Otzma Yehudit party, says he wants to add 4,000 new officers in the next two years, raising pay by between 20 and 40 percent.
Standing alongside police chief Kobi Shabtai, Ben Gvir also calls for the creation of a national civilian force to guard the country, while promising to turn the Border Police into a “national” fighting force.
During a short break in the press conference, Yesh Atid MK Micky Levy yells at Ben Gvir that he is a “provocateur,” while waving a copy of a state comptroller report on inter-ethnic fighting in May 2021, which police have reportedly blamed partially on actions by Ben Gvir to stir up anger.