New ‘Israeli FBI’ police commander appointed, will run PM’s probes

He replaces Roni Reitman, who was considered a top officer, but was involved in a sexual harassment scandal.

By
March 15, 2018 22:12
1 minute read.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reads from his speech in Knesset on March 12, 2018.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu reads from his speech in Knesset on March 12, 2018.. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)

Yigal Ben-Shalom was appointed on Thursday as the new head of Lahav 433, referred to as “the Israeli FBI,” which handles some of the most high-profile cases – including investigating Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for alleged public corruption.

Ben-Shalom’s appointment became official when Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan accepted the recommendation of Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Roni Alsheich and Police Investigations head Asst.-Ch. Gadi Sisso that he be given the prestigious spot out of a pool of several high-ranked candidates.

As part of the appointment, in which he beat out at least two top officers involved in the Netanyahu interrogations, Ben-Shalom, 53, was promoted from deputy chief to the rank of assistant chief.

Previously, Ben-Shalom headed the police’s international investigations unit and served as deputy chief of Lahav 433 for two years. Prior to that, he filled a number of roles relating to investigations and police intelligence in both the southern and central police units.

He replaces Roni Reitman, who was considered a top officer, but was involved in a sexual harassment scandal.

Though Alsheich tried to let Reitman remain in his role heading Lahav 433, eventually a petition filed with the High Court of Justice forced Alsheich to remove Reitman, who is expected to finish his police career in a back-office supervisory job.

Reitman’s predecessor, Menashe Arbiv, also ran into legal troubles and was forced to resign in 2014.

In February, Arbiv was convicted in a plea bargain of failing to report that Rabbi Yoshiyahu Yosef Pinto offered him an NIS 60,000 bribe to thwart the criminal case against the famous rabbi.

Ben-Shalom has bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Middle East studies, is married and has two children.


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