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January 21, 2017 / 23 Tevet, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘Police Commissioner’

Israel Police Estimate Fires Could Burn For Days

Tuesday, November 22nd, 2016

Forest fires and other blazes around the State of Israel continued to burn Tuesday night, with hundreds of firefighting teams and aircraft engaged in keeping the flames at bay.

Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh told reporters Tuesday evening that at least two more days would be required to bring the series of brush and forest fires under control, given the unseasonable hot, dry weather conditions, combined with the high winds that made it difficult to control the spread of the flames.

Late Tuesday night, at least four fires were still burning out of control in Zichron Yaakov, Kiryat Gat, Gush Etzion and the Western Galilee. More than 200 homes in Zichron Yaakov, south of Haifa had all been evacuated due to the fires. At least 19 people were treated for smoke inhalation, and three were hospitalized at Hillel Yaffe Medical Center in Hadera. Twelve homes were destroyed, and another eight homes were damaged.

Health officials advised the residents of Zichron Yaakov who returned to their homes to remain indoors with windows closed, in order to avoid inhaling smoke. In several areas, the electricity was still disconnected as an extra precaution.

In the small community of Dolev in the Binyamin region, firefighters finally managed to get the blaze under control at about 11 pm Tuesday night, but residents had not yet been allowed to return to their homes, due to the thick smoke still emanating from the site.

Firefighter accessing water to battle the flames.

Firefighter accessing water to battle the flames.

Residents in the Gush Etzion community of Geva’ot also faced a risk when fires broke out in nearby forest early Tuesday afternoon. Although no evacuation orders were issued, Firefighters were engaged in battling those blazes for most of the afternoon.

Geva'ot forest fire.

Geva’ot forest fire.

Fires were also reported near Kfar Vradim, and in the western Galilee, about 10 kilometers east of Nahariya, near the Lebanese border. A blaze also broke out near the Haifa suburb of Nesher, and in Hadera, south of the port city, earlier in the day.

The fires followed another blaze overnight between Monday and Tuesday in a forest to the north of Bet Shemesh, near the Latrun Monastery. Residents of Neve Shalom -Wahat al-Salam, a mixed Jewish-Arab settlement, were evacuated but fire crews extinguished the fire by early Tuesday. Residents returned to their homes around mid-day.

Shortly after 10 pm, fire officials reported that a brush fire broke out near the southern Israeli city of Kiryat Gat, 20 kilometers east of Ashkelon. Fire crews from both cities reported to the site.

Kibbutz Revadim in southern Israel, along the coastal plain, was also battling a massive blaze Tuesday night.

Dairy barn seen with fire in the background at Kibbutz Revadim.

Dairy barn seen with fire in the background at Kibbutz Revadim.

The dairy barn and the chicken coop of the agricultural community were in flames by nightfall, with the blaze still out of control. None of the kibbutz members or firefighters were injured.

Fire in Gush Etzion.

Fire in Gush Etzion.

Another brush fire broke out near Kfar Yarka as well.

Andrew Friedman of TPS contributed to this report.

Hana Levi Julian

NYC Police Commissioner Bill Bratton Resigns

Tuesday, August 2nd, 2016

New York City Police Commissioner Bill Bratton has resigned his post effective September 16. “It’s now time to move on,” he said.

Bratton is leaving to take a “really good job” as a security consultant with the Teneo firm in the private sector, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Tuesday afternoon at a news conference at City Hall.

NYPD Police Chief James P. O’Neill will replace Bratton, whose career in public service has spanned 45 years.

Bratton also served as police commissioner under former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani.

Bratton also served in Boston and Los Angeles, as a police commander in both cities.

Bratton was the keynote speaker at the first National Conference on Personal Security in Jerusalem in May 2014.

“We are fortunate in the United States and Israel to live in the world’s two strongest democracies,” he said at that time. “In a democracy, the first obligation of government is public safety.”

Hana Levi Julian

Speaker Edelstein Calls on AG to Conclude Police ‘Blackmail List’ Investigation

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Wednesday demanded that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit conclude his examination of a secret Israel Police dossier which reportedly details evidence regarding alleged offenses committed by Knesset members.

In his letter to the Attorney General, Edelstein said, “On June 22, 2016 a meeting was held in my office with the Police Commissioner and the head of the Police Investigations and Intelligence Department regarding the police document that was prepared in 2014 and which summarizes criminal and intelligence information on Knesset members who served at the time. During the meeting I noted the sensitivity (of the matter) and the problematic situation that was created due to the fact that the existence of such a document had been leaked, because it allegedly casts a cloud over all Knesset members, and creates a feeling in the public as if dozens of Knesset members are suspected of criminal acts.”

“I also stressed the importance of publishing an official clarification as soon as possible, to the public and the Knesset members, regarding the list from 2014 and its relevancy, as much as it remains relevant today, so that on the one hand the public will be able to rest assured that Israel Police is doing its job faithfully and is investigating Knesset members when necessary, while on the other hand Knesset members will be certain that police are not holding information against them which could be revealed at some point down the line and hurt their work or chances of obtaining a certain position,” the letter reads.

“In response to my comments, the police commissioner said they were aware of the sensitivity (of the matter) and the harm caused to Knesset members and the Knesset by the reports, and that the list had been submitted for your examination so that an official clarification regarding this list could be released soon,” Speaker Edelstein told Mandelblit.

Edelstein stressed the urgency of concluding the examination and releasing the clarification “in order to minimize the damage caused by the continued reports about the list and by leaving them in the public and media environment without a clarification or official statement from the authorized elements.”

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh appeared before the Knesset’s Internal Affairs Committee on Wednesday and justified the document. “It was drafted so that it wouldn’t turn out later that there was something we should have reported to the State Prosecutor and Attorney General and for some reason it got stuck and did not surface [to be reviewed by] a person with authority.”

Israel’s Channel 10 News revealed last month the existence of a document nicknamed “The Yitzhaki Report” that was compiled under order of the head of the police investigations unit Maj. Gen. Meni (Menachem) Yitzhaki.

During the Knesset committee meeting, Yitzhaki told the Internal Affairs Committee that the document was written in order to comply with the attorney general`s guidelines.

Committee Chairman MK David Amsalem (Likud) said: “The head of Investigations and Intelligence Branch has power by virtue of his position. Power corrupts, and great power corrupts more. Therefore, he must act with caution.”

“I read that 80 percent of police officers use internal information for their own personal needs. It is obvious that there is information being used by people who do not have the authority to do so,” MK Amsalem added. “Something terrible is happening here. Is the information only on Knesset members? Perhaps there is information about the commissioner? Maybe there are summaries on major generals in the police force? Or on judges and journalists? I don’t think Yitzhaki acted maliciously, but there is always potential for wrongful use.”


Israel Police Commissioner Reworks Top Brass

Thursday, January 7th, 2016

Newly appointed Israel Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich is reworking the department’s top brass.

Effective Wednesday, Jerusalem District police will be headed by former Southern District commander Maj.-Gen. Yoram HaLevy.

Former Jerusalem District commander Maj.-Gen. Moshe Edri is moving to head the Tel Aviv District instead.

In the south, Maj.-Gen. David Bitan will take over, and will leave his current position as head of Logistic Support.

There have also been a number of promotions, in part due to the number of senior officers who retired over the past few months.

Brig.-Gen. Yaakov Shabtai has been promoted to Maj.-Gen. and will now head the Border Guard Police unit. The former head of that department, Maj.-Gen. Amos Yaakov, is moving to become the new commander of the Coastal District.

Another promotion goes to Brig.-Gen. Alon Asur, who will now be Maj.-Gen. Alon Asur, and will be commander of the Northern District.

Brig.-Gen. to Maj.-Gen. Goes to Moshe Barkat now becomes commander of the Judea and Samaria District.

Brig.-Gen. Alon Levavi now becomes Maj.-Gen. Alon Levavi, and will head the Operations Branch.

In addition, two new major-generals are joining the Israel Police as well. One was recruited from the IDF, the other from the Shin Bet / Shabak (Israel Security Agency).

IDF Brig.-Gen. (res) Tzvi Tessler now becomes Maj.-Gen. Tzvi Tessler and will head the Israel Police Planning Department.

Hana Levi Julian

Can Israel’s New Police Commissioner Really Start ‘Right Foot Forward’ ?

Thursday, December 3rd, 2015

Israel’s much-discussed and formally “top secret” new police commissioner Roni Alsheich limped down the aisle Thursday to receive his insignia from Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan.

Alsheich, 52, was the dark-horse candidate in the race for the job. His name was never spelled out in releases to media until the final choice was made due to his position as deputy director of the Shin Bet. In his acceptance remarks, he said that it was “just as well that I’ve broken my left leg, so that I can start the job with the right foot forward.”

The father of seven and grandfather of seven fell and broke his leg three weeks ago while leaving his house in Givat Shmuel, forcing the ceremony to be delayed. But the wry comment was also a reference not only to the tension that accompanied his selection to the post, but also to the parade of scandals that has wracked the top echelon of the nation’s police force.

Alsheich was properly admonished within hours at a cozy post-ceremony meeting at the president’s residence. Seated together with President Reuven Rivlin, the Israeli leader’s wife Nechama told the new commissioner: “I think you’re going to need both feet for this job.”

Alsheich became a deputy commander in the Paratroopers’ Brigade during his service in the IDF and then joined the Israel Security Agency (Shin Bet) in 1988. He served as the agency’s commander of the Judea and Samaria District and the Jerusalem District. In 2014 he became the agency’s deputy director.

He enters as head of the Israel Police at a time when its leadership has been torn apart with scandals ranging from various forms of corruption to sexual offenses.

The Israeli public has lost its trust in the sincerity and honesty of the higher echelons in the force; nor do many Israelis trust most of the rank-and-file police officers who are sworn to protect them, having too often experienced incidents to the contrary.

Not only will Alsheich be busy with sorting out the wreckage of the past, and contending with the security challenges of the present: he will undoubtedly also be called upon by his peers from abroad, seeking advice on how to improve the safety of their citizens as well.

Numerous senior officers have resigned over the past year. Those who remain are faced with protecting the public while working to restore faith in the force, while saluting a man who didn’t come up through their ranks, and whose very name may never have been known to them.

Can Roni Alsheich inspire the right confidence in those he will now lead?

Hana Levi Julian

Opposition Media Defeat Bibi on Ex-IDF Officer as Police Chief

Wednesday, September 23rd, 2015

Former Brigadier-General Gal Hirsch has been removed as a candidate to take over the police department, Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan announced Wednesday evening after the Yom Kippur holiday.

Israel’s establishment media, a synonym for anti-Netanyahu media, have campaigned daily to highlight criticism of Hirsch, primarily because of his conduct at the beginning of the Second Lebanese War.

Relatives of soldiers killed in the war have directly blamed Hirsch for not having responded properly to the kidnap of reservists Ehud Goldwasser and Eldad Regev, who were killed by Hezbollah.

A government investigating commission cleared Hirsch of blame, and Erdan complained Wednesday in a statement:

He is a clean and innocent man. Hirsch is not suspected of anything, and no one has filed complaints against him.

Attorney General Yehudah Weinstein, whose recent opposition to several government decisions includes those that are not even in his realm of authority, put the death knell on Hirsch’s being police commissioner by saying it could take months before an investigation is finished concerning possible conflicts of interest concerning Hirsch’s private company that was involved in trading arms.

Weinstein left open the possibility that Hirsch in the end may not be cleared, and retired Supreme Court Justice Yaakov Turkel, head of the government committee that decides on the nomination of Hirsch, made things worse by stating last week he could not reach a conclusion.

In other words, the entire process will be dragged while the police department languishes without a permanent leader at a time when Jews in Jerusalem have become sitting ducks for Arab terrorists testing out their rock-throwing arms.

Now Weinstein has another feather in his hat to gain the good will of the anti-Netanyahu media and perhaps giving himself a better shot at being a Supreme Court justice in the future.

Netanyahu was bitter over Hirsch’s being yanked and stated:

Gal Hirsch is the right man for the post of Police Commissioner… For a month already Gal Hirsch’s good name has been trampled anew by critics. And for what? For agreeing to leave successful work and to report for a challenging and important national mission for all citizens of the state.

He agreed without hesitation and look what happened:

Slander and denigration. It is not proper to act this way toward someone who has sacrificed his best years, energy and talent on behalf of the State of Israel.

Now Erdan has to look for another candidate for chief of the police, whose upper echelon was furious at Erdan for nominating as police commissioner a man who has no record of sexual harassment or bribery, unlike many other senior police officers.

Weinstein promoted himself as an authority on the necessary background for a police commissioner by mocking Erdan’s desire to appoint a commissioner from outside the police department.

Tzvi Ben-Gedalyahu

8 Years too Late, ‘Cursing Policeman’ Major General Shaham Fired

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

Former Jerusalem Police District chief Major General Niso Shaham was finally let go. Internal Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonovich and Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino got together and fired him. To many in Israel, from all walks of life and all ends of the political map, this was a decision that should have been made years ago.

Shaham was fired full eight years after an incriminating 2005 video showing him instructing underlings to use merciless violence against Jews in who demonstrated in Kfar maimon against the uprooting of Jews from Gush Katif, Gaza, made it to You Tube.

It wasn’t just the subject matter of the video – a high ranking Israeli police officer ordering his men to be ruthless against Jewish civilians; it was also Shahar’s lowbrow language, replete with curses, references to excrement and imageries of ladies of the night in action, that created a cult of Niso Shahar Haters. He became the face of the Israeli bad policeman, more like his counterpart in Cairo than in, say, London.

“[prostitution expletive], let there be arrests, kapara, I want arrests, and I’m telling you, use the water cannon to disperse demonstrators, [excrement expletive] on them, let them burn, don’t hesitate, use the water cannon, you say I talked to Niso, Niso gave me permission in advance,” Officer Shaham was saying while the Channel 10 camera was rolling and the soundman was picking up every precious pearl. Mind you, this was regarding a peaceful demonstration – and Shaham was planning its deterioration into violence.

“I’m not some [street walker] who [description of what said street walker does for a customer]. I collect payment for [doing what the street walker does]… I will [be highly intimate] with the mother of their mother,” Niso was instructing his underling and the whole country was watching. Here’s the video. If your Hebrew is not good enough – I don’t know of a better incentive to check into an ulpan:

But, somehow, despite the mounting evidence showing Major General Shaham (second in rank only to the police commissioner) as an offensive public servant and obviously a terrible influence on the police force – the man managed to cling to his job, and was promoted to deputy chief of the Jerusalem district in 2007, and then, in 2011, chief of our men and women in police uniform in all of Jerusalem.

Interesting factoid: in 2007, when his promotion was announced, some good citizens, including Attorney David Shusheim, appealed it to the Supreme Court, saying his promotion will encourage even more violence and crude behavior on the part of police. The high court, in a cowardly fashion, went with the cursing bully, with a decision that, essentially, said, if the police brass want him, they must know what they’re doing. So now if you read about Israeli policemen tasing a man in Yitzhar while he is sitting quietly in his home – you know who had a chance to say it ain’t right but just didn’t.

By the way, the court record on Niso Shaham offers a complete recitation of his colorful curses and violent expressions. I’m no psychiatrist, but I just know the man could benefit from a hefty regime of Thorazine.

But Major General Niso Shaham was not defeated by his penchant for smacking heads and breaking bones, nor by his colorful language that’s now been recorded for posterity by the Supreme Court. Like all great men, Niso Shaham was caught by his zipper.

Two weeks ago, also after years and years of complaints that no one bothered to heed, the prosecution charged Niso Shaham with criminal sexual harassment and abuse against female cops under his command. Only then, when the police brass that defended and promoted this violent and uncivilized officer realized his peccadilloes were going to be splashed across the tabloids while he was still drawing a paycheck, and that could reflect on them.

So they finally did the right thing for all the wrong reasons.

Folks on the right are saying today that Niso Shaham is joining the long list of Israeli officials who participated in the crime of uprooting the Jews of Gush Katif and have paid a heavy price, some through a radical deterioration of their communication skills, others by a degradation of their political power. But if you ask me, that list will not be complete without adding to it the Supreme Court, who made all this injustice possible.

Yori Yanover

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/8-years-too-late-cursing-policeman-major-general-shaham-fired/2013/10/29/

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