Moshe Edri to Be Nominated as Next Israel Police Chief

If approved, he will take over from police chief Roni Alsheich in December following a brief handover period. Alsheich is leaving his post following his three-year term

Moshe Edri and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan in 2015
Marc Israel Sellem

Moshe Edri, the director general of the Public Security Ministry and a retired police major general, wil be nominated to be Israel's next police commissioner, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced on Friday.

Edri's name will be submitted to the committee that vets senior public appointments. If approved, he will take over from police chief Roni Alsheich in December following a brief handover period. Alsheich is leaving his post after his three-year term ends.

“Edri is endowed with impressive and proven abilities as a commander, with many years of experience in a wide range of posts in the Israel Police and great expertise in the challenges facing it in coming years,” Erdan’s announcement read. “All these make him the most appropriate candidate.”

“Edri presented impressive plans to me for dealing with the main challenges facing the police according to my policies, and I am certain that his talents and unique experience will allow him to carry out many missions and bring about the strengthening of the public trust in the Israel Police,” said Erdan.

The police spokesman’s office said Alsheich praised the choice of Edri and will aid him in any way necessary to enable him to enter office smoothly.

Outgoing Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich, Edri and Erdan in 2017
Moti Milrod

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu also commended the appointment in a statement on Friday, calling it "worthy."

"Edri is a good and experienced officer," Netanyahu said.

On Friday morning, Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit announced there is no reason to stop the process of appointing the next police commissioner, despite receiving a document from the police concerning two of the candidates to replace Alsheich.

The document includes sensitive information on the actions of Maj. Gen. Yoram Halevy, the commander of the police’s Jerusalem District, who was considered to be the leading candidate for commissioner.

Edri and Yoram Halevy in 2016
Emil Salman

Halevy is now expected to retire from the police after Edri is appointed. He was also passed over for the top spot in 2015.    

Erdan is expected to announce his candidate for the head of the Israel Prison Service soon, ahead of incumbent prisons commissioner Ofra Klinger's retirement. Erdan prefers to bring in a police general for the job, and it is possible he will offer it to Halevy.

The 51-year-old Edri's last post in the police was commander of the Tel Aviv District, and he retired in February. Previously, he served as the commander of two regions in the Tel Aviv district, and led the traffic division after being promoted to major general.

He also served as the commander of the Jerusalem District at the beginning of the latest wave of Palestinian violence in the capital.

Erdan appointed Edri as the director general of his ministry soon after he left the police, after the ministry did not have a permanent director general for a year. The two became quite close in recent months.

Edri has a disciplinary stain on his record: The murder of Shira Banki during the Gay Pride Parade in Jerusalem in 2015, when Edri was district commander. He received a disciplinary note from then-acting police commissioner Bentzi Sao after being found partly responsible as commander of the events.

Nonetheless, Edri has a good relationship and is touch with Banki’s parents, who are not expected to object to his appointment.

But a number of young people who participated in the march, and were stabbed by the attacker, have already submitted a letter to the appointments committee asking members not to appoint Edri as police commissioner.    

“Edri bears personal responsibility for the unnecessary murder of the girl,” states the letter. “Despite all the warning signs, the intelligence and prior knowledge, the Jerusalem police headed by Edri allowed the murderer to carry out his scheme.”

Edri is considered to be very well-liked among senior police officers and has even received support from Alsheich recently, who is thought to oppose Halevy's appointment as his replacement.