Police chief: Establishing independent ‘national guard’ will ‘harm personal security’

Israel Police Chief Kobi Shabtai at a security exhibition in the South Sharon Regional Council on March 21, 2023. (Gideon Markowicz/Flash90)
Israel Police Chief Kobi Shabtai at a security exhibition in the South Sharon Regional Council on March 21, 2023. (Gideon Markowicz/Flash90)

Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai warns that the government’s approval of a new “national guard” under the control of National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir could cause serious harm to the safety and security of Israeli citizens.

“Establishing a national guard that will be subordinate to [Ben Gvir’s] office is an unnecessary move that will have a very heavy price, to the point of harming the personal security of citizens,” Shabtai says at a ceremony at the Western Galilee College.

“Any disconnect [of the National Guard] from police control would destroy personal security, be a waste of resources and lead to the disintegration of the Israel Police from within,” he adds.

This is not the first time that Shabtai has warned against such a move. On Sunday the cabinet voted to approve establishing a national guard, leaving the decision about its chain of command to a future committee.

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