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Police official says he was punished after accusation he leaked info to Meron probe

Shimon Nachmani, head of the Israel Police's Operations Division, testifies before the state comission on the Meron disaster in Jerusalem on January 9, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Shimon Nachmani, head of the Israel Police's Operations Division, testifies before the state comission on the Meron disaster in Jerusalem on January 9, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Shimon Nachmani, the head of the Operations Division in the Israel Police, claims that his promotion within the police was halted after he was accused of leaking relevant materials to the state commission of inquiry into last year’s Meron disaster.

Testifying in front of the commission, Nachmani says he was told he was in line for a promotion to deputy chief of a new branch aimed at fighting crime in the Arab sector. “Then I was surprised when [the police chief] asked me during the interview, ‘Why did you give materials to the probe?'”

Nachmani says Israel Police chief Kobi Shabtai worked to sabotage his promotion due to the allegations. Former Supreme Court president Miriam Naor, who heads the commission of inquiry, says Nachmani did not leak documents to the probe.

The three-member commission is continuing to hear witness testimony related to the April 2021 Lag B’Omer tragedy at Mount Meron, where 45 civilians were killed in a crush of people at the site after repeated warnings that it was unsafe for such a large crowd.

Nachman says he tried to warn Shabtai that the site was unsafe, but that the police chief dismissed his concerns, allegedly saying before Lag B’Omer that he would deal with any state inquiries that followed.

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