Next Police Chief Asks for Time to Study Up Before Taking Over

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Police commissioner nominee Roni Alsheich, September 25, 2015Credit: Tomer Appelbaul

The appointment of Roni Alsheich as the next Israel Police commissioner has been delayed by a month at his request to give him time to study the organization before he takes office.

As a result, the top spot at the Israel Police will continue to be filled by acting commissioner Bentzi Sau, who it appears will remain on the police force at least in the near term after Alsheich takes over, due to the current security situation. The cabinet is expected to formally approve Alsheich’s appointment on Sunday, and he would then take office in another month.

Since the current wave of violence erupted, Sau has received high praise from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who has expressed the hope that Sau will remain on the force. Sau’s associates have said he is inclined to leave the Israel Police for civilian life, but his talks with Netanyahu and the security situation may persuade him to stay.

Netanyahu with Public Security Minister Erdan, acting police chief Sau, Defense Minister Ya'alon and IDF Chief-of-Staff Lt.-Gen. Gadi Eisenkot Credit: AFP

The advisory committee on senior government appointments headed by retired judge Jacob Turkel expressed its support a week ago for the appointment of Alsheich, who will be coming to the police force from the Shin Bet security service.

According to the Prime Minister’s Office, witnesses before the Turkel committee included Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan, former police commissioner Yohanan Danino, Shin Bet head Yoram Cohen and Alsheich himself.

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