1,200 hidden cameras seized from Israeli polling stations as Netanyahu defends Likud move
The cameras were worn by Likud election volunteers in Arab-majority towns, including Sakhnin, Majd al-Krum, Nazareth, Tamra and Jisr a-Zarka. Likud confirmed it had hired 1,200 election observers and fitted them with cameras.
Israeli Police now confiscating hidden cameras & recording devices found on right wing activists in several polling stations in the Arab community. When caught they say @netanyahu’s Likud sent them pic.twitter.com/OefZe5x2Zn— Noa Landau נעה לנדאו (@noa_landau) April 9, 2019
מבט מתוך הקלפי עם מצלמה נסתרת שנחשפה 👇 pic.twitter.com/aZThwFKJ9O— Tal Shalev (@talshalev1) April 9, 2019
Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said there was “a number of suspected irregularities in polling stations in the northern region.”
Channel 13 reports some cameras were also found at polling stations in ultra-Orthodox neighborhoods.
Central Elections Committee head Hanan Meltzer has filed a complaint to the Israel Police, saying the cameras were illegal and could only ever be taken to polling stations in “exceptional circumstances in order to report an incident.”
After news of the devices emerged, Netanyahu said he believed “there should be cameras everywhere, not hidden ones,” adding that the devices should “ensure a fair vote.”
הגשנו עכשיו תלונה דחופה לוועדת הבחירות בדרישה לעצור את הניסיונות הלא-חוקיים של פעילי הליכוד להטמין מכשירי הקלטה ומצלמות נסתרות בקלפיות ביישובים הערביים. נתניהו לא רוצה שהציבור הערבי יצביע, אבל אנחנו ננהר לקלפיות ונפיל את הממשלה. pic.twitter.com/tZhZeGzVJf— תנועת חד''ש (@Hadash_org) April 9, 2019
However, Likud has been accused of using the cameras to intimidate Arab voters. “Netanyahu wants to lower the percentage of Arabs arriving at the polls,” claimed Ahmed Tibi of the Hadash-Taal alliance of two Arab parties.
Arab voter turnout is at a low “never seen before,” prominent pollster Camil Fuchs said, with a 20 percent turnout at 3.30pm. At the last election, 63 percent of the Arab electorate voted. Meanwhile, voter turnout for Israel is at 42.8 percent as of 4pm.
Bibi’s Likud party sews suspicion of Arabs exercising their very basic political right to vote, distributing 1,300 cameras to its supporters in Arab localities. The Elections Committee has ordered their removal. In the video, man admits the Likud party gave him the camera. pic.twitter.com/shipCyxrDQ— The Mossawa Center (@MossawaCenter) April 9, 2019
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