Former Israel Police chief Roni Alsheich disrupted internal police investigations to protect the police's reputation for the benefit of the bribery, fraud and breach of trust cases against former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, a former Police Investigations Department (PID) official told N12 on Monday.
Alsheich viewed the Justice Ministry department as a “hostile organization” that is infringing on Israel’s “national interests,” alluding to the Netanyahu trials, according to former PID deputy head Moshe Saada.
Saada was relieved of his duties as the department’s second-in-command due to “incompatibility” last October.
The Justice Ministry argued he was acting against his superiors, with a 2020 Channel 13 report stating he maintained direct contact with then-public security minister Amir Ohana without telling his superiors and threatened workers in the department that he would report them directly to the minister.
Umm al-Hiran cover-up
Saada claimed in the interview given to N12’s Amit Segal that Alsheich was disrupting the PID’s investigations into the killing of Bedouin Abu al-Kian and Border Police officer Erez Levi in the southern Bedouin village of Umm al-Hiran in 2017.
Shortly after the incident, Netanyahu and Israel Police falsely accused al-Kian of being a terrorist affiliated with the Islamic State. In 2018, the officer involved in the killing was cleared of any wrongdoing by then-state attorney Shai Nitzan.
Saada told N12, “[Alsheich] goes to the press and gives the police officer’s account before an investigation even began,” claiming he was facing pressure to drop the investigation and that Alsheich threatened to “dismantle” the PID.
He also claimed that Avichai Mandelblit, the attorney-general at the time, and Nitzan were covering for Alsheich in the case and cooperating with the “criminal norms” that the former police chief had adopted.
Entire police establishment 'fixated on Bibi'
In 2020, Netanyahu accused Nitzan and Alsheich of giving him a false narrative of a terrorist attack at the time and apologized to the al-Kian family for branding the slain Bedouin a terrorist.
“The Netanyahu cases are the only thing that matters at the time, the entire establishment is fixated on that,” Saada explained. “I was offered other senior positions, to leave the PID, or to retire.”
Alsheich refuted Saada’s allegations, describing them as “preposterous lies with no grasp of reality. Not worthy of a serious response.”
"Preposterous lies with no grasp of reality"Former Israel Police chief Roni Alsheich on Moshe Sa'ada's N12 interview
Sa'ada aiming to join Netanyahu in politics?
Less than 24 hours following his interview, a new Walla report claimed Sa'ada is mulling entering politics ahead of the upcoming election, with sources close to the former PID official stating he already received offers from factions in the Netanyahu bloc.
“I only just left state service. My goal currently is to release the truth as often as I can,” he reportedly said. “[Joining politics] is a decision I have to make.”
N12 ruled out the possibility of Saada joining the Likud, as the deadline for new candidates to sign up for the primaries has passed. The Religious Zionist Party, headed by MK Bezalel Smotrich, is one of the factions interested in bringing Saada on board, as per the report.