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Public Demonstrators and the Israeli Police - The Policy and Practice of Successful Protest Control

NCJ Number
Police Studies Volume: 6 Issue: 2 Dated: (Summer 1983) Pages: 44-52
S Lehman-Wilzig
Date Published
9 pages
Significant public protest has been a hallmark of Israel's political scene since the State's founding, with close to one-fourth of the total population participating in demonstrations at one time or another. This article examines police response to such demonstrations.
Police files and archival material are used to document policy and practice in the licensing of demonstrations, preprotest preparations, use of intelligence, and physical preparation. It also looks at actions at the demonstration scene. The data indicate that Israel's police organization is a mixture of decentralization and centralization. Administratively, the districts are semiautonomous, but several strong links to central headquarters exist, chief of which is the Police Commissioner's authority. Specific instructions are given to all police officers before every event, with self-discipline, limited use of force, and nonprovocation emphasized. The policies and tactics used so successfully by Israel's police are listed in detail. A total of 45 footnotes are included. (Author abstract modified)