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Police central district commander who oversaw recent Jewish-Arab rioting quits

Moshe Barkat steps down following 30-year career, months after taking up new post; says he ‘utilized this important and fascinating path of life to the fullest’

Moshe Barkat, then commander of the police Judea and Samaria district, visits a temporary roadblock in the Sha'ar Binyamin industrial zone in the West Bank, January 10, 2021. (Hillel Meir/Flash90)
Moshe Barkat, then commander of the police Judea and Samaria district, visits a temporary roadblock in the Sha'ar Binyamin industrial zone in the West Bank, January 10, 2021. (Hillel Meir/Flash90)

The Israel Police’s central district commander notified the commissioner on Tuesday he would be leaving the force after some 30 years of service, just several months after taking up the new position.

Moshe Barkat assumed the position of commander of the police’s central district in February of this year. He oversaw May’s ethnic tensions in mixed Jewish-Arab cities.

In May, amid the 11-day war between Israel and Hamas, heavy clashes between Jews and Arabs broke out across the country, particularly in the central city of Lod. Several people were killed.

“After a diverse and demanding public service in the Israel Police, he feels that he utilized this important and fascinating path of life to the fullest, and now he chooses to embark on a new path,” a statement on his behalf said.

Barkat agreed with commissioner Kobi Shabtai that he will continue to serve until a replacement is found.

Barkat, 54, held a number of senior roles in the police over the years, including assistant to the commissioner, commander of Jerusalem’s David Sector, head of the policing division in the Operations Directorate, defense secretary to the public security minister, commander of the Judea and Samaria district, and most recently commander of the central district.

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