National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir and Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai are expected to announce a round of appointments to the senior command staff this week. Naturally, all eyes are on the Tel Aviv District, whose commander, Ami Eshed, survived an impeachment attempt and is now demanding that he remain in office until the end of the year.
Last week, the head of the planning division of the police, Commissioner Danny Caribou, announced his resignation from the organization. Caribou, who until his last position as deputy director general and head of the planning, budgeting and control division at the Public Security Ministry, asked to retire, among other things, due to his poor relationship with the minister of national security, which led to the decision to exclude him from dealing with the police budget.
Commissioner Ami Eshed walks among the demonstrators in Tel Aviv, Photo: Arik Marmor/Flash90
Another commander who is not yet known whether he will remain or retire is Tel Aviv District Commander Ami Eshed, in light of his demand – revealed by Israel Hayom – to remain in office until the end of the year. Meanwhile, and as a clear signal of Ben-Gvir's poor assessment of Eshed, the Minister of National Security replied to residents of south Tel Aviv who complained about the poor enforcement in the Neveh neighborhood: "The Minister of National Security believes that offenses in the field of prostitution and drugs were not sufficiently enforced by the Tel Aviv District by the Israel Police in the area that is the subject of the petition."
The rocky relationship between Ben-Gvir and Ashed began against the backdrop of the demonstrations against the legal reform that swept the streets of Tel Aviv. Demonstrations that Ben-Gvir claims were not handled as harshly as he expected from the Tel Aviv police, under Eshed's command.
Minister of National Security Itamar Ben-Gvir. Begins with a round of appointments and signals to those who need it (archive), photo: Oren Ben Hakon
In mid-March of this year, shortly after opponents of the legal reform blocked Ayalon during a demonstration, the Minister of National Security published a short round of appointments, which implied that Eshed's position had been removed from his position. About an hour later, an attack took place on Dizengoff Street in Tel Aviv. Eshed received the announcement of his planned termination from Police Commissioner Shabtai, shortly before the announcement of the expected round.
Following what appeared to be an impeachment attempt that was blocked by Attorney General Gali Baharav Miara and led to a public apology from the police commissioner, Eshed sent a harsh letter to the police commissioner, whose relations with him are shaky, attacking him and writing, among other things, that the considerations behind his removal were "foreign, personal, political, irrelevant and contrary to the Attorney General's guidelines and the rules of natural justice."
He added that any attempt to remove him from office was tantamount to "personal and political impeachment, with all that entails." Only recently, Shabtai claimed that he had considered resigning following Eshed's attempted ouster, placing full responsibility on the Minister of National Security. Now, it will be interesting to see whether Eshed will still be removed from his position and, if so, whether he will agree to be appointed to the position designated for him - head of the training division.
Eshed is nominated to be replaced by Hof District Commander Lt. Gen. Yoram Sofer and Border Police Commander Amir Cohen. If Sofer is appointed, Cohen is expected to replace him as commander of the Hof district. It should be emphasized that in the background of the expected appointments is Police Commissioner Shabtai's request to extend his term by another year, after he recently reiterated that "the police are not political, never were and never will be."
Ben-Gvir is not satisfied with police enforcement in Tel Aviv
As stated, residents of the Neveh neighborhood in south Tel Aviv filed a petition against the State of Israel, claiming that enforcement in south Tel Aviv is insufficient and that they are discriminated against in relation to other areas of the country. Residents of the neighborhood asked the court to require the authorities to "immediately close the brothels" in the area, "take enforcement and punitive actions against drug dealers, and close drug stations and illegal taverns."
In a surprising response by National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, through the State Prosecutor's Office, it said: "From the factual information presented to the minister, including the findings that arose in an audit carried out by the Ministry of National Security's internal comptroller at the Sharett station, the Minister of National Security believes that offenses in the field of prostitution and drugs were not sufficiently enforced by the Tel Aviv District of the Israel Police in the area that is the subject of the petition."
Commissioner Saturn. Want to continue for another year, photo: Yossi Zeliger
The minister added, "It should be noted that in the past four months, the police have significantly increased enforcement activity in these offenses, in accordance with the policy of the minister of national security."
"At the same time," the response said, "in light of the situation in which these offenses are still not enforced in a manner consistent with the minister's policy, the minister wishes to indicate to the court that he will instruct the police to increase enforcement activity and close as soon as possible all brothels and drug stations in the Sharett station sector, and he intends to monitor and supervise the police's handling of this matter."
In conclusion, the minister presented his position: "In these circumstances, the minister believes that the decision regarding the issuance of the requested order should be left to the discretion of the honorable court."
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