Changes in police top brass

Dichter approves a series of appointments and departures in the coming months.

david cohen 224.88 (photo credit: Israel Police)
david cohen 224.88
(photo credit: Israel Police)
In what may be the last chapter of a year wrought with shake-ups in the Israel Police, Public Security Minister Avi Dichter okayed the recommendations submitted by Insp.-Gen. David Cohen for promotion and retirement among the senior ranks of the police in the coming months. Two of the best-known names among the police's rising stars are Lt.-Cmdr. Yoav Segelovich and Lt.-Cmdr. Bentzi Sau, both of whom are set to advance to the coveted rank of commander in the coming months. Segelovich, known for his work on both the Katsav and Hirschson investigations as head of the National Fraud Squad (NFS), has been tapped to serve as the commander of all of the elite national-level investigative units, including the NFS. This combined directorate, which some have already begun to term "the Israeli FBI," has been pushed by Intelligence and Investigations Chief Cmdr. Yochanan Danino - considered to be Segelovich's mentor. Sau is currently the assistant head of police operations but is better known due to his stint as commander of the Northern District Border Police during the October 2000 riots in Wadi Ara. The Or Commission, which probed the clashes that left 13 protesters dead, found that Sau commanded an unnecessary confrontation between border policemen and Arabs at the Umm el-Fahm junction, during which two protesters were killed by live rounds and rubber bullets were shot into the crowd. The commission also found that Sau was involved in sniper shootings at Arab stone-throwers. In its findings, published in 2003, the commission recommended that " Sau should not be promoted in rank or position from his current post for a period of four years from the day of the publication of the commission's findings." Four years later, and after fulfilling a number of roles at the same rank, Sau will now be promoted to the rank of commander and will take the reins of the police operations division - one of the most powerful positions in the Israel Police. Lt.-Cmdr. Shaike Horovitz, currently the police representative on the National Security Commission, will take Sau's former position. The year 2007 began with major personnel upheavals within the police force, with a round of top brass shown the door, or - in the case of former Insp.-Gen. Moshe Karadi and Cmdr. David Tzur - pushing themselves through it. The retirements okayed Monday ensured that the year would end with another wave of top-level goodbyes. In mid-2008, the police will part with operations chief Cmdr. Bertie Ohayon, assistant chief of the Samaria and Judea District Lt.-Cmdr. Eli Zamir and former Border Police Chief and current logistics head Cmdr. Hassin Faris. Faris was highly disappointed in the most recent round of top promotions - he had hoped that his deep understanding of Israel's minority communities and his familiarity with the North might pave his way to district headquarters in Nazareth, but he was passed over for Cmdr. Shimon Koren. Koren, in turn, has recently been under fire for his poor judgment in dealing with riots in the Druse town of Peki'in last month. Relegated to a position he had already filled prior to his stint with the Border Police, Faris apparently took the message and decided to call it quits with the organization. Lt.-Cmdr. Dudu Mantzur, current head of the financial Crimes Unit, will become second-in-command to Cmdr. Yochanan Danino at the Intelligence and Investigation Division, and Lt.-Cmdr. Jackie Bray will take Mantzur's place in the elite white-collar investigative unit. Asst.-Cmdrs. Shuki Ziso and Yifrah Duchovny - both currently subdistrict chiefs, will be promoted to the rank of lieutenant commander. Duchovny will head up the Center for Police Studies and Ziso will become the assistant commander of the Samaria and Judea District. The outgoing head of the CPS - Lt.-Cmdr. Rami Zonenfeld - will head up the police's instructional department.