The High Court rules that National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir may not issue operational orders to the police regarding how to manage protests and the use of force during demonstrations.
The ruling on Sunday comes in response to a petition by the Movement for Quality Government in Israel (MQG), which claimed that Ben Gvir’s intervention as protests are taking place was politicizing police action and was unlawful.
The minister has visited police command and control centers during the course of several recent anti-government protests, and has given specific orders as to how police should conduct their response, such as which highways the police should ensure remain free from demonstrators.
MQG’s petition contended that other democratic countries bar police ministers from intervening in police tactics at the operational level in order to avoid politicizing policing.
“The minister is not permitted to give operational orders as to how to implement his policy, the manner in which the use of force is exercised, the forms of force to be used, crowd-dispersal methods, conditions relating to the time, place and manner the incident is conducted, and similar [such orders],” writes Supreme Court Justice Isaac Amit.
“The minister must therefore refrain from giving operational orders to the police, directly or indirectly, and all the more so regarding protests and demonstrations against the government,” adds the justice.