Delegation from Moscow to arrive in Israel in the coming weeks.
By YAAKOV KATZ
The Russian military will dispatch a delegation to Israel in the coming weeks to learn from the IDF how to establish and operate a Military Police, The Jerusalem Post has learned.According to a top IDF officer, Russian Gen. Vasily Smirnov, head of the Mobilization Department of the Russian Armed Forces, will arrive in Israel in the coming weeks to meet with OC Military Police Corps Brig.-Gen. Meir Ohana.“The Russians want to learn how to build and operate a military police force,” the officer said. “They are coming to learn from us, which is of course a big compliment.”Ohana recently visited the United States and spent time at the US Army Criminal Investigation Command (CIDC), which is the equivalent of the IDF MP Corps.Following his visit there, the IDF is now considering transferring responsibility over the General Staff Protective Unit from the Operations Directorate to the MP Corps, as is the case in the CIDC, which is in charge of the US Army Protective Services Battalion, responsible for providing protection for the secretary of defense, chairman and vice chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, as well as other top military and Defense Department officials.“We are considering transferring responsibility over the unit to the MP Corps,” a senior IDF officer said. “Its natural place is within the police command.”News of a possible transfer of command came after several scandals within the unit and mounting criticism in the defense establishment after a series of events embroiled the elite unit in controversy.AdvertisementMost recently was the arrest of Capt. Erez Efrati, who allegedly tried to rape a woman on the night of his bachelor party.The team of bodyguards, established around 10 years ago, is currentlycommanded by a lieutenant-colonel who is a former navy commando andtrains his personnel according to Shin Bet (Israel Security Agency)standards.In September, the Shin Bet revealed it had arrested an Israeli Arab whowas recruited by Hizbullah to gather intelligence on Chief of GeneralStaff Lt.-Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi. The Israeli Arab worked out in the sameKfar Saba country club as the chief of staff. At the time, the unitcame under criticism for allowing Ashkenazi to exercise in a publicclub where he could be easily targeted.In August, the IDF revealed that it had arrested a soldier who stoleAshkenazi’s credit card while doing guard duty on the floor of hisoffice in the Kirya. The soldier was not a member of the elite unit,but the unit came under criticism.
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