AG to High Court: Order government to appoint police commissioner

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit asks the High Court of Justice to issue an injunction forcing the government to appoint a new police commissioner.

Mandelblit has previously said that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu can’t be the one to appoint top law enforcement officials due to a conflict of interest, as he’s facing criminal charges.

Netanyahu’s lawyers have pushed back against the attorney general’s instructions, prompting the High Court of Justice earlier this month to instruct Netanyahu to explain within 30 days why he claims he is not obligated by Mandelblit’s conflict of interest arrangement.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, left, speaks with then-Cabinet Secretary Avichai Mandelblit during the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem, September 21, 2014. (AP/Menahem Kahana, Pool/File)

The Israel Police has been without a commissioner since December 2018, when Roni Alsheich’s term ended. Alsheich was a key figure in Netanyahu’s criminal probes and thus reviled by the prime minister and Likud as one of the figures the premier claims was involved in an attempted coup against him. Motti Cohen has been acting police chief since Alsheich’s departure and has had his tenure extended several times.