Ben-Gvir’s Request to Delay Senior Police Appointments Nixed

Ben-Gvir, who is slated to become national security minister, had argued that the planned appointments were made at the last minute to thwart his ability to influence the police

Chen Maanit
Chen Maanit
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ישיבת ממשלה הסכם לבנון 27.10.222
Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara at a government meeting.Credit: Yoav Dodkevich
Chen Maanit
Chen Maanit

The attorney general has rejected Itamar Ben-Gvir’s request that senior police appointments be suspended until the new government is sworn in.

In her decision on Thursday, Gali Baharav-Miara said that most of the appointments in question were planned long in advance, after a standard search committee procedure, and weren’t influenced by the imminent change in the government.

Nevertheless, she did criticize one appointment – a new commander for the Border Police’s West Bank region.

Ben-Gvir, who is slated to become national security minister, had argued that the planned appointments were made at the last minute to thwart his ability to influence the police, and therefore contradicted Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai’s statement that when a new minister is about to enter office, “it wouldn’t be right to make changes, including the appointment of senior police officers.”

But Baharav-Miara’s decision, written by Deputy Attorney General Gil Limon, said that because the appointments had followed standard procedure and had already been approved, she could intervene only if there were serious flaws in the process or if newly discovered facts justified a reconsideration. Neither of those applied to the five appointments at issue, Limon wrote.

Aside from the West Bank appointment, they included the head of the police’s riot unit in Jerusalem, the head of the operational planning department, the head of the cyber unit and the commander of the Border Police base.

The only one of the five that didn’t appear to have been planned long in advance was the commander of the Border Police’s West Bank region, which was approved by Public Security Minister Omer Bar-Lev only on December 6. This appointment indeed “poses significant problems, and in any case should have undergone thorough legal scrutiny and been brought before the attorney general before the decision was made,” Limon wrote.

Nevertheless, he added, “because the appointment has already gone into effect, because the appointment process itself was professional and met the accepted police standards for such issues, because it’s an important operational post and it’s vitally important to avoid disrupting its staffing,” and because the attorney general’s standing orders only bar caretaker governments from filling more senior positions than this one, there were no grounds to overturn it.

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