After Brig. Gen. (ret.) Gal Hirsch removed his candidacy for police commissioner on Wednesday due to what he termed a "smear campaign," a new contender has come to the fore.
Internal Security Minister Gilad Erdan (Likud) on Friday submitted the name of the present deputy head of the Israel Security Agency (ISA or Shin Bet) – named to the press only as R. to protect his identity – for the role.
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu has accepted the appointment, and allowed the candidate's name to be brought before the Turkel Commission for deliberation in the coming days.
Talk of the new candidate comes after Erdan told Hirsch on Wednesday night that he will be forced to remove Hirch's candidacy due to the lack of a deadline in the lengthy vetting process, which was held up amid "a campaign of slander, mudslinging, and character assassination," according to Erdan.
Netanyahu also spoke up in defense of Hirsch, saying, "Gal Hirsch is the right man for the post of Police Commissioner; I thought so then and I think so now. But our appointment process is long, arduous and damaging, and undoubtedly deserves reexamination."
Hirsch led the IDF's Galilee Division during the Second Lebanon War in 2006, but came under fire for his performance after the war, especially for his claim the IDF was in “complete control” of the village of Bint Jbeil, where some of the heaviest fighting took place.