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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Israel Police Southern District Commander Uri Bar-Lev submitted an appeal to the High Court of Justice in Jerusalem on Sunday in an attempt to prevent Police Chief Insp.-Gen. David Cohen from dismissing him.
Bar-Lev asked the court to ensure that he kept his position and to hold a "mock" hearing with Public Security Minister Avi Dichter. He also called attention to the fact that his termination was the first time a chief of police had tried to dismiss an officer with the rank of commander.
The appeal states that the termination of Bar-Lev "stems from one simple sin - he asked the force to give him any position appropriate to his rank in order to fulfill his chosen career... Instead of an illogical and far-fetched proposition to study abroad."
In August, Cohen decided to dismiss Bar-Lev over his refusal to take study leave, even though Bar-Lev already holds degrees in engineering and political science. Cohen then published Bar-Lev's expected withdrawal from the force in the media.
Bar-Lev, who first got wind of his impending termination from the media, hurriedly issued a contradicting statement in which he clarified that despite Cohen's announcement, he had no intention of leaving the police.
Cohen then called Bar-Lev for a hearing, during which Cohen notified him that he was to take a 30-day forced vacation. During his vacation, Cohen said, a hearing regarding his termination would be held.
Bar-Lev hired the services of attorney Ya'acov Ne'eman, who sent a letter to Dichter in which he stated that Cohen's actions were "against the written law and void of any legal basis."
Ne'eman added that it was unthinkable for an officer to be dismissed for refusing to spend state funds on studies. He requested that Cohen reconsider his decision and warned that he would take legal action if he did not withdraw the termination within 14 days.
Dichter has backed Cohen in the case almost since its outset. Bar-Lev reiterated to his friends and colleagues that he was willing to serve in "any capacity."
"He was stabbed in the back," Bar-Lev's associates said. "This is an officer whose skills, managerial ability and leadership are undisputed."
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