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The Israel Police's top brass turned out in force at Kibbutz Gan Shmuel on Wednesday to mark the release of the report on Border Police activity in 2006, giving them a rare opportunity to celebrate. The Border Police is part of the Israel Police.
Complaints against border policemen dropped drastically, as reported in Wednesday's Post. Border Police officials also highlighted the success of the organization's elite units and success in reducing car theft and in dealing with illegal Palestinian laborers.
In 2006, the Border Police apprehended 152,829 Palestinians working illegally in Israel. Border Police special forces - the Yamam hostage rescue team and the Yamas undercover unit - killed 29 terrorists and arrested 193. And the Border Police arrested 1,370 suspects wanted by the Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency) for questioning.
The mood at the ceremony was festive, as Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi and Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter took the podium under banners reading: "The Border Police is my home."
In contrast, the Israel Police has little to celebrate when looking back at 2006.
Karadi, who steps down on May 1, addressed the dissent in the force following the release of the Zeiler Report on February 18, blasting senior officers - many of whom were present - for post-report grumbling.
"Over two weeks ago, I came to a crossroads, where I made the decision to end my time in office despite the decision of the Zeiler Commission that I could complete my term," Karadi said. "At the same time, I made a second decision not to join the party of people pummeling each other. That path will not lead anywhere, a path that perhaps satisfies the desire for revenge but has no connection to the desire to repair, to examine ourselves and to lead forward. I choice the other path."
The chief of police turned sentimental when recalling his long history with the Border Police.
"It is natural to say the Border Police is "my home," and it is true for me, not just because of the fact that I began my service as a commander in the Border Police, but mostly because for me, the organization was not just my home but was also in my home. As someone who absorbed the culture of the force from the day of his birth, in a house where my father was among the founders of the Border Police. For me, this is not just a slogan but a fact of life."
Dichter also made reference to the events of late February, saying that his decision to remove both Karadi and deputy police chief Benny Kaniak from office was due to "organizational considerations."
"The decisions I have recently taken were not easy - not for me, not for Karadi - and apparently also not for quite a few people in Israel," he said.
Dichter said he and Karadi had long been friends, but, "My first obligation is to the State of Israel, and only after that to friendship."
Later Wednesday, Karadi - who is maintaining a statesmanlike attitude despite his lame duck status at National Headquarters in Jerusalem - met with his Rwandan counterpart.
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