Police Block Roads in Protest Over Pension Payments

YERUSHALAYIM -
An Israeli border policeman. (Sliman Khader/Flash90)

To the long list of groups that have in recent months adopted the tactic of blocking roads and intersections to make a point – if not “points” – with the public, add police and prison security staff. A group of several dozen blocked the roads and adjacent intersection around the Kfar Sava police station, preventing civilians and police officers from driving up to the station’s parking lot. As the protesters themselves were police officers, there was no one to arrest them. The group dispersed after about an hour.

The group was demanding that the government pay out benefits that the High Court had declared were coming to them – specifically, an increase in pension payments to meet the same level as retired IDF officers. Groups organizing the protests charged the Treasury with trying to evade the High Court ruling, as an administrative panel that was supposed to supervise the distribution of the benefits has instead filed numerous injunctions seeking to postpone the payments. Despite numerous lower court decisions – as well as a promise by the government to raise the pension payments – “the government continues to ignore our just demands and fails to live up to its promises,” the groups said.

David Sitton, a retired police officer who is a leader of the protests, said that Tuesday’s event was the “opening shot” of an accelerated campaign to ensure that officers get what is coming to them. “We will increase the pressure,” he said. “Active duty police officers will defend their rights. This is just the beginning.”