Former police chief slams lack of permanent successor

Former Israel Police chief Roni Alsheich calls for a permanent police commissioner to be appointed immediately, saying that the government’s failure to have done so for the last nine months “seriously damages the vital independence of the force.”

“The independence of the police is absolutely central to Israeli society. In order for there to be independence, there needs to be a permanent commissioner. It can’t be that we are 9 months without a permanent commissioner and everyone is silent,” Alsheich tells Channel 12’s “Influencers Conference” in Tel Aviv.

“There are many candidates from within the police who can fulfill the role. The elections should not delay the appointment of the police commissioner,” he adds.

Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich at an Interior Affairs Committee meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on February 20, 2018. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

The police force has been led by interim chief Motti Cohen since December 2, when Roni Alsheich ended his term, after Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan’s candidate for the post, Moshe Edri, withdrew his candidacy amid a public scandal over his conduct. Since then, the dissolution of the Knesset and two national elections have delayed the appointment of a permanent commissioner.

Alsheich, who ended his term as Israel’s top cop last year, oversaw three police investigations into Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, all of which ultimately yielded police recommendations of indictment for bribery and other charges. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit has since announced that he plans to indict Netanyahu, pending a hearing, for the charges.

— Raoul Wootliff

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