(JNi.media) Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) on Friday recommended to the Prime Minister appointing the deputy head of the Shin Bet as Israel’s police commissioner. Sources in the PM’s office have told NRG that Netanyahu gave his consent for the appointment. Erdan will submit his name in a few days to the Turkel Commission which supervises major civil service appointments.
The candidate, known for the time being only by his initial R., is one of the deputies of the current Shin Bet chief Yoram Cohen, and has been considered as his successor, but it appears he would accept the top police job instead. R wears a yarmulke (skullcap), and until a few years ago lived in a settlement in the Binyamin region. Because of his promotion in the Shin Bet, he moved to the Givat Shmuel neighborhood in Jerusalem. Sources in Israel’s security apparatus say R. is one of the sharpest minds in the organization today.
The candidate joined the Paratroopers Brigade in 1981 and left the army after serving as company commander in an elite commando unit, and as deputy commander of Battalion 50 in the Nahal Brigade. He joined the Shin Bet in 1987, where moved up the ranks to a position equivalent to that of a Major General.
R. has served as head of the Shin Bet Jerusalem, Judea and Samaria area, as head of the Southern Region and head of staff recruitment. As of September 2014 he has been serving as deputy chief of the Shin Bet. He holds a Master’s degree with honors in political science.
According to sources inside the Internal Security Ministry, Erdan sees R. as the man who can shake up the country’s troubled police force, which has been battling a string of high echelon corruption and sexual abuse cases, while struggling to meet the challenges of increasing Arab violence in and around Jerusalem.
Minister Erdan wants to bring the commissioner’s appointment to a speedy conclusion, after his previous candidate, Gal Hirsch, dropped out last week. Erdan appears to trust that R. has had an ongoing working relationship with police brass, as opposed to Hirsch who was viewed as a foreign transplant.