Likud MK David Amsalem met with Israel Police Insp.-Gen. Kobi Shabtai on Tuesday and denied that he had threatened him on Monday. The allegation prompted calls to the Attorney-General’s Office to pursue criminal charges against Amsalem.
Amsalem and Shabtai had settled the misunderstanding, Amsalem’s office said Tuesday in a statement, adding that the MK would support the police commissioner against public and political pressure over law-enforcement measures.
Amsalem and Shabtai reportedly decided to ignore the discourse around the issue.
“We understand that the industry of lies and fake news of all propaganda channels has been working overtime since the morning,” Amsalem’s office said. “MK Amsalem talked about threats from others and did not threaten Kobi Shabtai himself. On the contrary, he actually encouraged him to do what is expected of the Israel Police.”
During a speech in the Knesset plenum on Monday about the so-called Deri Law 2, Amsalem addressed some of the controversies surrounding law-enforcement interactions with protesters against the judicial reform.
Threats against the police
“I will tell you something, Kobi Shabtai,” he said. “One day, not far away, we will establish a state commission of inquiry into everything that has happened in recent times. You will see how many more people will be questioned, and others will be prosecuted just for the last two months. I advise you, don’t be one of them. You are responsible; this is on your watch.”
The Movement for Quality Government in Israel called upon Attorney-General Gali Baharav-Miara to investigate Amsalem for threats against a law-enforcement official and for calling for police to violently suppress legitimate protests.
“Only two days ago, the High Court of Justice forbade [National Security] Minister Ben-Gvir from interfering in police operations, and already another coalition member is blatantly, rudely and violently trying to interfere with the discretion of the commissioner,” MQG chairman Eliad Shraga said in a letter to Baharav-Miara.
At a ceremony for outstanding police units on Tuesday, Ben-Gvir said that there were those that were "confused" about to whom security forces were subordinate.
At a ceremony for outstanding police units on Tuesday, Ben-Gvir said some people were confused about whom security forces were subordinate to.
“These days, there are those who seek to change the rules, apply pressure, try to make the police enforce the law unequally, politically influence decision-making, incite against the elected Israeli government and even divide the police from within,” he said. “But we will stand guard and not allow damage to the government, the law, the basic principles of the system and the fact that the elected officials are the ones who outline policy.”