Vetting panel hears testimony by police chief nominee
search

Vetting panel hears testimony by police chief nominee

With opposition to appointment of Gal Hirsch mounting, review committee also set to meet ex-police chief Danino, Public Security Minister Erdan

Gal Hirsch, a former IDF brigadier-general who had been tapped to be the next head of the Israel Police, arrives to testify before the Turkel Committee vetting his appointment at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on September 1, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)
Gal Hirsch, a former IDF brigadier-general who had been tapped to be the next head of the Israel Police, arrives to testify before the Turkel Committee vetting his appointment at the Prime Minister's Office in Jerusalem on September 1, 2015. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Nominated Israel Police chief Gal Hirsch, whose appointment has met with multiple challenges, on Tuesday testified before the Turkel Committee on the appointment of senior positions in the civil service.

In addition to Hirsch, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan and former police chief Yohanan Danino were also set to testify before the committee.

According to the Haaretz daily, Danino is expected to oppose the nomination and has recommended that Erdan appoint a chief from among the ranks of the police brass.

The committee is not expected to make a decision on the appointment before receiving the opinion of Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein.

Weinstein on Monday told Erdan that his staff’s probe into Hirsch’s affairs may take a long time, due to the need to examine in detail the activities of companies Hirsch was involved with along with those that a company he established, Defensive Shield Holdings, did business with.

Yaakov Turkel (2-L), chairman of the Turkel Committee, convenes a meeting regarding the appointment of the new chief of Israel Police, Gal Hirsch (unseen), in Jerusalem, on September 1, 2015. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)
Yaakov Turkel (2-L), chairman of the Turkel Committee, convenes a meeting regarding the appointment of the new chief of Israel Police, Gal Hirsch (unseen), in Jerusalem, on September 1, 2015. (Marc Israel Sellem/POOL)

Over the weekend Hebrew-language media reported that Defensive Shield may have been involved in deals with the Georgian government, signed by a defense minister who has by now fled Georgia and who stands accused of fraud and misappropriation of state money, including through deals with Hirsch’s company.

Separately, it was reported that the FBI is conducting a fraud investigation into companies that had dealings with Defensive Shield.

Officials at the Justice Ministry on Monday said that due to the scope of the material that needs to be examined, Weinstein will have a hard time defending Hirsch’s appointment if an appeal against it is submitted in the coming days.

The appointment was widely opposed by the police and by a forum of families who lost relatives in the Second Lebanon War. On Monday, the cabinet extended by 45 days the term of Bentzi Sau, a former Tel Aviv District commander who is serving as acting police chief. After Hirsch’s appointment was announced last week, Sau said he would step down but then agreed to stay on until the position is filled.

On Monday Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu lent his support to the appointment, calling Hirsch “the right man in the right place.”

But Culture Minister Miri Regev, who served as IDF spokesperson during the Second Lebanon War, when Hirsch was commander of the Galilee Division, criticized the appointment. She said reports after the war that examined his performance found Hirsch to be unworthy of command position.

Hirsch retired from the military following the war.

Join us!
A message from the Editor of Times of Israel
David Horovitz

The Times of Israel covers one of the most complicated, and contentious, parts of the world. Determined to keep readers fully informed and enable them to form and flesh out their own opinions, The Times of Israel has gradually established itself as the leading source of independent and fair-minded journalism on Israel, the region and the Jewish world.

We've achieved this by investing ever-greater resources in our journalism while keeping all of the content on our site free.

Unlike many other news sites, we have not put up a paywall. But we would like to invite readers who can afford to do so, and for whom The Times of Israel has become important, to help support our journalism by joining The Times of Israel Community. Join now and for as little as $6 a month you can both help ensure our ongoing investment in quality journalism, and enjoy special status and benefits as a Times of Israel Community member.

Become a member of The Times of Israel Community
read more:
comments