Police in Jerusalem.
Police in Jerusalem. Photo by Moti Kimche
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The former interrogator for Unit 504 of Military Intelligence known as "Captain George" has been appointed as adviser on Arab affairs for the commander of the Jerusalem District Police, sources have told Haaretz. As part of his duties, "George" will oversee the sensitive relationship between the police and the Arab community in the district.

The role of adviser on Arab affairs is considered a key position in the district's police force, headed by Aharon Franco, in light of tensions stemming from religious and ethnic friction. The job will require "George" to file reports on views in the Arab community, as well as function as a liaison between the police commander and local residents.

"The adviser must be an accepted and welcome figure in the Arab community, with excellent interpersonal skills - someone they feel they can trust, otherwise he cannot succeed in the job," a senior police officer said.

"George," who holds the rank of major, became famous when he was accused of torture by Mustafa Dirani - who was abducted by IDF commandos in 1994 from his home in Southern Lebanon, and brought to Israel for questioning. The Hezbollah man sued Israel for NIS 6 million in damages. In 2004, he testified in court about being raped with a baton by soldiers under "George's" command.

Dirani said he was threatened not to reveal what had happened to him, had suffered continuous torture for a month and throughout that period was not allowed any clothes, only adult diapers.

"George" denied Dirani's claims, except to confirm that one soldier had been sent into the prisoner's cell wearing only underwear to threaten him with a sexual act. The Military Police investigation did not result in an indictment. "George" then appealed to the Supreme Court, asking to be tried so that he could clear his name of the accusations, but he was turned down.

After Dirani was released to Lebanon, the state asked that his suit be dropped, but the judge refused. Since 2005, however, the case has remained dormant.

In that time, "George" left the army and joined the police, initially working for the immigration police and then in police intelligence. Several months ago he was appointed adviser to the Jerusalem police chief.

The police said: "There is no link between the previous role held by Major D. ["George"] and his current position. The officer is carrying out his duties to Franco's satisfaction, and is contributing a great deal to the good relationship between Jerusalem police and the Arabs of East Jerusalem."