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(photo credit: Ariel Jerozolimski)
Internal Security Minister Avi Dichter expressed satisfaction on Tuesday over police Cmdr. Benny Kaniak's decision to accept his offer to lead the Israel Prisons Service, although Chief Warden Yaakov Genot's appointment as Israel Police chief is far from a done deal.
Under heavy criticism for the Genot nomination, Dichter said that despite a Supreme Court ruling 12 years ago saying Genot was unsuited for command positions, he was the right man to take charge of the police.
Genot spoke out against his critics Tuesday.
"I haven't changed my position with regard to Dichter's call to rally to the flag and to be the next inspector-general of the Israel Police," he said.
Deputy Police chief Benny Kaniak, whom Dichter unceremoniously dismissed in a surprise announcement on Sunday night, said Tuesday morning he would accept Dichter's offer to replace Genot as chief warden.
Dichter thanked him, saying he saw Kaniak's decision as "an additional step toward the implementation of [my] plans and toward increasing the security of people in Israel."
The minister said he "values the decision of Cmdr. Kaniak, who saw before his eyes the good of the IPS and of the State of Israel, and sees in Kaniak a model of behavior for officers in the Israel Police."
Dichter still has to present Kaniak's nomination to the Terkel Committee, which examines appointments of senior public servants, but the promotion is also dependent on another decision.
If either the High Court of Justice or the Terkel panel reject the appointment of Genot, Dichter has promised him he can return to his current position, leaving Kaniak in the ranks of the police unemployed.
Outgoing police chief Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi also congratulated Kaniak on his decision to accept the position. Karadi described his deputy "as a talented officer, professional and extremely deserving of this position."
Karadi, who has gone out of his way to be diplomatic in the name of mending fences within the organization, emphasized that he "complimented Dichter's choice in appointing Cmdr. Kaniak and his decision to promote him to this senior position."