Israel Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai has condemned the violent exchanges that took place between Arab Knesset members and police officers last week.

“I will not abide an agenda of blatantly and forcefully harming police officers who are doing their job on behalf of the state and for its citizens,” said Shabtai at a Knesset event on Tuesday honoring Israeli security forces. “Certainly not by someone who is supposed to serve as an example and model of law-abiding behavior for their constituents,” he said. He refrained from naming the lawmakers in question.

On May 13, Joint Arab List MK Ofer Cassif was filmed confronting and striking a police officer who blocked his way to a protest in the southern Hebron Hills region. In a separate incident, MK Ahmad Tibi was documented interfering with police work at a protest in Jerusalem.

“The police and officers cannot become part of a political game and a target for provocations,” said Shabtai on Tuesday.

Earlier this week, the police asked the attorney general for authorization to launch a criminal investigation into the two incidents.

This article first appeared in Israel Hayom.


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