RONI ALSHEICH, the deputy Shin Bet head who has been named to lead the Israel Police.
(photo credit: AVSHALOM SASSONI)
The cabinet on Sunday unanimously approved the appointment of Roni Alsheich, deputy head of the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency), as Israel’s new police commissioner after weeks of controversy over who should get the job.
Alsheich, 52, will officially take up the post of inspector-general on November 11th, after a month of preparations for handling a spike in violent confrontations with Palestinians in the past few weeks.
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) praised Alsheich as an officer with “a lot of experience fighting terrorism.”
A former IDF Paratroop officer, Alsheich has previously served as acting head of the Shin Bet, where he is credited with implementing security reforms.
Erdan named Alsheich in late September after rescinding his first choice for the job retired IDF Brig. Gen. Gal Hirsch, a former division commander from the Second Lebanon War.
Hirsch’s nomination met with public criticism and some questions were said to have been raised concerning a security company that he runs.
Alsheich, a religious father of seven, has held a series of roles in the Shin Bet, including as commander of the Jerusalem, West Bank, and Southern Districts. A onetime resident of Kochav Hashahar settlement in the West Bank, he now lives in Givat Shmuel, near Tel Aviv.
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In 2014 Alsheich became deputy head of the Shin Bet. Before being tapped to head police, he was considered a top candidate to succeed security agency head Yoram Cohen whose term expires in May.
Erdan’s decision to nominate a candidate from outside police to the post of inspector-general came after a series of highly publicized scandals involving senior officers, including several who were fired or resigned due to sex crimes and sexual harassment allegations.
On Sunday, The Shin Bet appointed a new deputy chief to replace Alsheich.
The incoming deputy chief, named only as N, served in the same position between 2011 and 2014.
“After receiving the prime minister’s approval, N returned to his role of deputy head of the service,” the domestic intelligence agency said in a statement. During a ceremony held in the presence of Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen, the agency’s headquarters staff, and other senior security and intelligence officials, Cohen thanked Alsheich for his “many years of contribution to national security.”Yaakov Lappin contributed to this report.
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