Knesset C’tee calls on police to recruit Ethiopian-Israelis

Ethiopian Israelis serving in the army
Ethiopian Israelis serving in the army

By Yaakov Lappin, JPost

The Israel Police should recruit more Amharic-speaking Ethiopian Israelis, the Knesset Immigration and Absorption Committee said on Wednesday during a tour of Kiryat Ata.

The comments, made by committee chairman Knesset Member Danny Danon, were made after members heard of communication difficulties faced by Ethiopian immigrants in dealing with the police.

A Kiryat Ata police representative, Supt. Avi Cohen, said there were significant problems due to a shortage of Amaharic speakers, leading Ethiopian immigrants to wait for long hours in order to give testimony or be questioned.

Police volunteers who speak Amharic and Russian help to some degree, Cohen said. But the near-by Zevulon police station has just one Amharic-speaking officer, he added.

Police should recruit more Ethiopian Israelis, Danon said, adding, “Ethiopian women should especially be recruited, in order to allow for Ethiopian women to file complaints on domestic violence or sexual harassment.