After Losing Out on Commissioner Job, J'lem Police Chief Retires

Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner
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Outgoing Commissioner Motti Cohen and Jerusalem District Commander Doron Yadid, August 2020.
Outgoing Commissioner Motti Cohen and Jerusalem District Commander Doron Yadid, August 2020.Credit: Emil Salman
Josh Breiner
Josh Breiner

The commander of Jerusalem District Police announced his retirement on Thursday after losing out on the position of police commissioner.

Police Maj. Gen. Doron Yadid was one of the leading candidates for the position of police commissioner. Yaakov Shabtai was appointed to the position instead.

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Yadid attracted public attention in 2020 as the commander in charge of the police forces manning the ongoing protests near Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's official residence in Jersualem.

Protesters have reported Yadid's aggressive line, claiming he had ordered police to use an iron fist against them in order to placate the government. Meanwhile, Yadid has said privately that he was determined to preserve citizens' freedom of protest.

Over his 36 years of service, Yadid was considered a dominant and professional commander, but also one who treated subordinates strictly. While serving as head of the traffic division, Yadid successfully lowered the number of car accidents through strict traffic law enforcement.

For most of his career, Yadid served in various command roles in the Jerusalem District, receiving the police’s third highest medal for bravery for preventing a suicide terrorist attack during the Second Intifada.

His term as Jerusalem district commander was characterized by his handling of protests and riots, along with a drop in both the number of terror attacks and the crime rate in Jerusalem. Residents of East Jerusalem reported harsh police treatment during his tenure, particularly in the neighborhood of Isawiyah.

Sources close to Yadid criticized Public Security Minister Amir Ohana for not appointing him police commissioner, wondering why “Ohana chose a police commissioner without any significant experience during such a complex time.”

They said those who were happy Yadid was not appointed were making a mistake, because “Doron is someone who would not have given in to any political pressure – not as a district commander and not as the police commander.”

Yadid is the latest in a string of retirements since Shabtai's appointment, including the commander of the police’s planning division, Maj. Gen Yossi Bachar, human resources commander Einat Gil and and the deputy commissioner Alon Asor.

A few weeks ago, Brig. Gen. Eli Asayag, a senior commander in the elite Lahav 433 national investigations unit, also announced his retirement. Other senior commanders are also expected to announce their retirement soon if they are not promoted.

The wave of retirements will require Shabtai to announce a long list of top level appointments – including the commander of the Border Police to replace him, new major generals to replace those who retired and a new commander of the Tel Aviv District, one of the most important positions in the police.

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