Since the government has been reopening a few parts of the country while restricting others, the police force in Israel has come under a lot of pressure. It is safe to say that they are facing extreme challenges due to the widespread pandemic that has taken over the country.
In the first wave of the outbreak of the novel coronavirus, the public was concerned about the spread of the disease. However, the second wave has forced people to prioritize the economic well-being. Additionally, the pandemic has caused various social and political crises as well. Political instability and paralysis were there long before the virus took over the country but, have been further intensified by it.
As a result, the systems of the state have had to suffer a shake-up and consequently, the Israeli Police have found themselves playing the role of a responsible adult. They have to act as mediators in the society. It is up to them to manage the ultra-Orthodox citizens as they try to enter synagogues and keep an eye on protestors to prevent them from crowding together in demonstrations as they ask for their democratic rights.
Moreover, this trend is being boosted by vast sections of the citizens of Israel who are facing failures in businesses and personal financial hardships. Thus, like every other time that a crisis hits, the police have to bear the brunt of it.
Currently, the Israeli Police are handling the extraordinary aftershocks of the pandemic and battling crime. On the other hand, they have to fight the war on drugs and deal with traffic accidents. As they continue to conduct these missions, the police also has to make sure that people are wearing masks and following the rules of social distancing. If this was not enough, law enforcement officers have to engage in situations where law-abiding citizens are also gradually sliding into a state of civil disobedience.
Despite the fact that the police is focused on these in-house issues, they cannot decrease their counter-terrorism, anti-crime, or traffic operations either. The challenges that the Israeli Police has to face are growing every day.
In addition, the law enforcement officers are being forced to act upon the orders of an acting commissioner and not an appointed one. This only makes things more difficult for them as it is hindering the force’s ability to act in an effective and organized manner.
Meanwhile, the performance of Motti Cohen, the acting commissioner, is being widely appreciated. Many supervisors have stated that he is executing his role with professionalism and integrity. He is also taking the right operational decisions as the police face one of their most difficult hours.
The Israeli Police is slowly and steadily also learning to enforce the public health laws being announced by the Health Ministry. However, since these laws are frequently updated and changed, the force has to adjust accordingly.
At the same time, the law enforcement officers have to be careful themselves as the coronavirus cases in the country are readily increasing. So far, hundreds of officials have contracted the disease and thousands have had to isolate themselves.