Amid Terror Wave, West Bank Police Commander Quits After 9 Months on Job

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Police commander Shlomi Michael with former Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovitch
Police commander Shlomi Michael, right, at an appearance in February 2015 with former Public Security Minister Yitzhak AharonovitchCredit: Emil Sallman

Maj. Gen. Shlomi Michael, the commander of the Judea and Samaria district of the Israel Police, which covers the West Bank, announced his resignation Tuesday just nine months after he was appointed. His announced departure came as a surprise, particularly during the current period, when Israeli-controlled areas of the West Bank have been the scene of repeated terrorist attacks against Israelis.

Michael informed incoming police commissioner, Roni Alsheich, of his decision. Other senior police officials said that as far as they knew, the West Bank commander's resignation is not related to opportunities for promotion under the new chief of the force.

Michael, the youngest major general in the Israel Police, took office in February following a number of resignations of senior police and after some were accused of sexual harassment on the job. Michael's appointment was expected to turn a new leaf for the police, senior officers noted, and burnish its image. He assumed his current position after heading the elite counter-terrorism Yamam unit of the force.

Michael's plans to resign were known to just a few of his close associates and were not even shared with Bentzi Sau, who is acting police commissioner until Alsheich takes office. Other senior police brass were said to be surprised by the news, which they received from the media. As far as is known, there are no complaints pending against Michael at the Justice Ministry's police investigation unit.

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