Ben-Gvir, police chief meet for first time following election

Itamar Ben-Gvir and Yaakov Shabtai sat next to each other at a ceremony in memory of Police Counterterrorism Unit member Noam Raz.

 Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel's far-right agitator. (photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)
Otzma Yehudit leader MK Itamar Ben-Gvir, Israel's far-right agitator.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM)

Otzma Yehudit Party leader Itamar Ben-Gvir, who is expected to become the next public security minister, met with Israel Police Commissioner Insp.-Gen. Yaakov Shabtai on Monday for the first time since the election.

The two shook hands and sat next to each other at a ceremony in memory of Police Counterterrorism Unit (Yamam) member Noam Raz, who was killed in a shootout with terrorists near Jenin in May.

Shabtai will be responsible for carrying out Ben-Gvir’s policies, some of which are controversial, such as giving immunity to police officers from legal prosecution and changing the rules of engagement.

A number of other MKs attended the ceremony, mostly from the Likud, including David Amsalem, Yariv Levin, David Bitan and former Yamina MK Idit Silman, who is now a member of Likud.

Ben-Gvir also met with former US Ambassador David Friedman

 Israeli chief of Police Kobi Shabtai attends Constitution Committee meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem, on June 15, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90) Israeli chief of Police Kobi Shabtai attends Constitution Committee meeting at the Knesset, the Israeli Parliament in Jerusalem, on June 15, 2022. (credit: YONATAN SINDEL/FLASH90)

Earlier on Monday, Ben-Gvir met with former US ambassador to Israel David Friedman.

Also on Monday, Prime Minister-elect Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife, Sarah Netanyahu, met with the wives of the other coalition party leaders for lunch at the Waldorf Astoria Jerusalem hotel to become acquainted.

Among the attendees were Yaffa Deri, Rivka Goldknopf, Ayala Ben-Gvir and Galit Maoz, the wives of Shas leader Aryeh Deri, United Torah Judaism leader Yitzhak Goldknopf, Ben-Gvir and Noam Party leader Avi Maoz, respectively. Religious Zionist Party leader Bezalel Smotrich’s wife and Degel Hatorah leader Moshe Gafni’s wife did not attend for “personal reasons.”

Ayala Ben-Gvir carried a pistol with her, one of the pictures showed.

“I live in Hebron, a mother of six sweethearts, and drive on terrorism-stricken roads and am married to my husband, who is the most threatened person in the country, and yes, I have a gun. Deal with it,” she wrote on Twitter.