Jerusalem Police Chief Denies Any Secret Contacts With Netanyahu: ‘There Was Nothing’

'I have already commented on it and I said that it never happened, there was nothing and there will be nothing,' Yoram Halevy tells reporters at the Western Wall

Jerusalem district police commander Maj. Gen. Yoram Halevy on his way to the the Western Wall on Friday, May 2018
Olivier Fitoussi

Jerusalem district police commander Maj. Gen. Yoram Halevy denied that he has conducted any secret contacts with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu behind the back of Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich.

Halevy told journalists during a visit to the Western Wall Plaza in Jerusalem on Friday morning: “Don’t do this to me, I’m asking you – I have already commented on it and I said that it never happened, there was nothing and there will be nothing.”

On Thursday, Haaretz reported that Alsheich believes that Netanyahu and Halevy conducted talks through a third party and in some cases also met without that person’s knowledge.

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According to sources familiar with the matter, Alsheich was furious with Halevy’s conduct and asked him to stop. He also asked the mediator between the two to stop. Associates to Alsheich say he does not let anyone give orders that don’t go through the police. Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan was also not informed of the ties between Netanyahu and Halevy, said the sources.

Senior police commanders consider Halevy a respected and experienced officer, making him the most likely person to replace Alsheich, who is stepping down soon. But relations between the two senior officers have been tense recently, in part because of the accusations. The Prime Minister’s Office said the claims were “a complete and tendentious lie.”