Public Security and Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan recommended the appointment of retired Maj.-Gen. Moshe “Chico” Edri to be the next police commissioner on Friday afternoon.
The selection was submitted for approval to the Advisory Committee for the Appointment of Senior Officials, headed by retired judge Eliezer Goldberg.
Erdan spoke with the two other candidates who had been considered for the position – Maj.-Gen. Yoram Halevi and Maj.-Gen. David Bitan – and thanked them for their efforts.
The decision process for the role of police commissioner has been conducted over the past two months, including consultations with outgoing Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich as well as other current and past senior police and security officials.
Erdan stated that: “Edri has impressive and proven command capabilities, along with many years of experience in a wide variety of positions in the Israel Police. All of these make him the most suitable candidate.”
Edri, 51, married with three children, has a bachelor’s degree from Bar-Ilan University in Israeli Studies and a master’s degree from Tel Aviv University in Middle Eastern Studies.
The designated police chief has served in the Israel Police since 1990, after completing his IDF service as deputy commander of the Golani reconnaissance unit. After joining the Israel Police, he served in several positions, such as commander of the Taybeh station, commander of the Kfar Saba station, commander of the Yarkon area, commander of the Etgar unit, head of the traffic department, security secretary and head of the operational bureau of the Public Security Minister, and commander of the Jerusalem District and then of the Tel Aviv District.
During the previous year, he has served as director-general for the Public Security Ministry.
“Edri presented me with impressive plans to deal with the central challenges of the police, in accordance with my policy,” said Erdan.
While in Bulgaria for the Balkan Craiova summit
, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu gave his backing to the choice, saying that Edri “is a worthy choice [and] a good and experienced officer.”
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon congratulated Edri on Twitter for his “expected appointment to police commissioner.”
“An esteemed and worthy commander who will lead the Israel Police with responsibility and professionalism. Good luck, Chico,” he wrote.
The activist lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender organization Jerusalem Open House, however, expressed anger at the appointment and the group’s intention to examine ways to oppose it, recalling the murder of 16-year-old LGBT supporter Shira Banki at the 2015 Pride Parade, which occurred under Edri’s watch.
“We are troubled by the announcement of the appointment of retired Maj.-Gen. Moshe (Chico) Edri as police commissioner in light of the grave failures that occurred under his command at the Jerusalem Gay Pride and Tolerance Parade in 2015, which, as noted, took the life of Shira Banki and wounded six others,” said Open House chairman Eran Globus.
“The No. 1 policeman must serve as a personal example, and the police’s failure during the parade, under Edri’s responsibility, is a murky stain on the appointment,” he added. “We must convene an emergency meeting to consider our actions on all relevant levels. Our security must be protected by the appropriate people.”
The murder at the parade was committed by Yishai Schissel, a homophobic, ultra-Orthodox man who had just been released from jail three weeks earlier for an attack at the 2005 parade. He is serving a life-plus-31-year sentence.
Friday’s announcement came after Alsheich passed on a document to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit in which he exposed damaging information about two out of the three candidates for police chief. Mandelblit said Friday that there was no reason not to proceed with the appointment of any of the candidates whose names were mentioned in the letter.
Bitan spoke with Edri, congratulated him and said he hoped he would continue to be at his disposal as the commander of the Tel Aviv District and as a member of the senior police command. Bitan added that he is confident that the organization, led by Edri, “will continue to work for peace and public safety and to provide it with optimal police services.”
The entire Israel Police congratulated Edri, and Alsheich announced that he would assist Edri as much as he needed in order to facilitate his smooth entry into the role “for the benefit of Israeli citizens, police officers and commanders of the organization.”
In September, Erdan officially announced that he would not extend Alsheich’s tenure beyond December 3, sparking outcry from opposition members that the move was related to the investigations against Netanyahu.
The three-year term of the police commissioner is often extended by 12 months, and speculation was rife that the decision to limit Alsheich’s term was taken because Netanyahu holds the police commissioner responsible for the ongoing investigations against him, as well as for leaks to the media about those probes – accusations which Erdan has rejected.
Alsheich’s farewell party will take place on November 29 at the Police College in Beit Shemesh.
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