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New bill will give far-right’s Ben Gvir unprecedented powers over police — report

Head of the Otzma Yehudit party MK Itamar Ben Gvir speaks during a faction meeting of the Otzma Yehudit party at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, on November 21, 2022.  (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Head of the Otzma Yehudit party MK Itamar Ben Gvir speaks during a faction meeting of the Otzma Yehudit party at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem, on November 21, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

A new bill submitted by Otzma Yehudit party chief Itamar Ben Gvir and Likud’s Yariv Levin will radically redefine the relationship between police and politicians, giving the police minister far more authority over cops than ever before in the history of the state, according to Channel 12 news.

Ben Gvir is set to become national security minister in the new government — a newly created role replacing that of public security minister — which will give him oversight of police.

The bill dictates that it is the minister, rather than the police commissioner, who sets policy, giving him far more control over the police force. Currently, the commissioner sets policy, while consulting the minister.

The bill also provides the minister broad powers to decide which issues do or do not merit tougher investigation and enforcement, the report says.

The bill stipulates that the minister will not be able to dictate the opening or closing of specific probes, such as investigations into politicians suspected of wrongdoing.

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