In the wake of the storm Ashkelon Mayor Itamar Shimoni’s Wednesday night’s announcement created, additional municipalities have stepped up Thursday with their own plans to increase the security in their communities, also with an emphasis on construction sites, Channel 10 News reported.
Mayor Shimoni’s decision to temporarily freeze the employment of Arab Israeli workers on construction sites in kindergartens has sparked condemnation from various party members in the Knesset as well as criticism from Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu himself.
The mayor, citing security concerns, explained that the increased presence of Arab workers in close proximity to educational institutions is potentially harmful to residents’ security, and therefore their employment will stop until the tense security situation improves.
“There is no place for discrimination against Israeli Arabs. We should not generalize an entire population because a small minority of it is violent and belligerent,” Netanyahu stressed in response.
On Thursday, the Mayor of Ashdod, Yehiel Lasri, in cooperation with the Municipality Manager as well as security forces in the city, decided on a series of measures including increased police patrols within the city.
Ashdod, like Ashkelon, is located along the southern part of the Mediterranean coast.
Additionally, construction sites’ contractors were instructed to carry out strict daily reviews of the sites and their workers, as well as to be prepared for the deployment of security guards to those sites, with a particular focus on kindergartens.
The municipality of Kiryat Ono – a small city in the Gush Dan area – announced on its website Thursday its new security measures, effective immediately. “As of today, there there is no entry for employees who do not carry blue Israeli ID Cards. Employees with orange ID cards will not enter our city.” (A citizen receives a blue ID card in Israel, while a resident’s ID card is orange.)
Kiryat Ono’s municipality also announced the reinforcement of security forces in the area in addition to municipal policing patrols.
“We will have no tolerance for contractors who disrespect our procedures,” the municipality added. “They will stop work until further notice. We have ordered police tours of urban construction sites and compounds to check identity cards, as well previous criminal convictions.”
“These decision were made in full cooperation with the Israeli police and will be under the supervision and close monitoring of Adi Maoz, the Director of Emergency and Security in the municipality.”
Finally, the Municipality of Ma’ale Adumim, a city in Judea, has also announced new security measures including the shift of construction work in schools from morning hours to the evening, after the students have vacated the premises.
In addition, the city has doubled its police vehicles, and added security patrols, particularly during the hours workers enter the city. Municipal security cameras were also connected to a police hotline.