People in Israel are living in "terror" with no personal security, a leading observer and commentator has claimed. Jospeh Shapira said that Israeli citizens are afraid to leave their homes and that this is having a negative effect on the economic life of the country.
Shapira made his comments following the increase in violence of Israeli mafia turf wars which have spiralled out of police control. He was speaking to Maariv newspaper, which posted the interview online.
In response, the head of the Investigations Division at the police and intelligence services, Minnie Yitzhaki, said that he never cancelled his own family trips out of fear of mob violence. He pointed out that the Israeli police force is strong. "There are many countries in the world where people are afraid to leave their homes at night, so this means that Israel's situation is much better."
Shapira retorted, "Don't you feel the atmosphere of horror and fear when you leave your house?" Yitzhaki agreed that he feels afraid, "but this doesn't prevent me from leaving the house and going to the cinema or doing any other activity."
Israeli mafia gangs have been responsible for a number of deadly incidents recently, making life intolerable in the eyes of many Israelis. It is rare that a week passes without a mob assassination attempt leading people to complain about the lack of personal security in the streets and their homes as the police appear to be unable to stop the phenomenon.