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Arab crime family sends police death threats

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Twenty-four hours after police in central Israel moved in to clear a complex under the control of an alleged powerful Arab crime family, two senior officers involved in the operation received telephone death threats on Tuesday.

Taibe police chief Dep.-Cmdr. David Pilo and a second officer whose identity is being withheld had their lives threatened by members of the Abd Al-Khader family in Taibe, police said.
The unnamed officer received a threatening call to his personal cell phone, a police spokeswoman added.

Police from the central district’s elite Central Unit arrested nine members of the Abd Al-Khader family and brought them in for questioning The alleged death threats came a day after dozens of officers from the Taibe police station and Border Police officers under the command of Pilo raided the Taibe complex.

Ten private CCTV cameras installed on premises, which filmed public areas, were removed in the raid.

Bulldozers also demolished roadblocks and waste piles set up in the area, which blocked public roads.

"The Abd Al-Khader family is heavily involved in the crime world in the area," a police source said.

The raid is part of a new police initiative to establish its presence in Arab Israeli areas, which are plagued by gun violence and crime.

Arab Israeli officials and community leaders have demanded that police enforce the law in their communities.

Police have stepped up arms raids in Arab towns, seizing 250 firearms in 2011.

In a recent interview with The Jerusalem Post, central police district head Cmdr. Bentsi Sao said he identified a dramatic change in the approach to police from the Arab Israeli public. "They are calling for us to make our presence felt in Arab areas," he said.

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