Internal Security Minister MK Gilad Erdan (Likud) has shortlisted IDF Southern Command Chief Sami Turgeman for Police Commissioner, Walla! News reports Sunday, to replace outgoing Commissioner Yohanan Danino before the end of 2016.
Turgeman may soon finish his military service in the event IDF Chief of Staff Gadi Eizenkot does not extend his service after two years in the Southern Command.
In his short tenure, however, Turgeman has gained great popularity among both security forces and the political leadership, particularly during Operation Protective Edge in Gaza.
Erdan is reportedly weighing Turgeman as a good candidate not only for his popularity, but for his conduct during the war, which included making independent statements on the situation that weighed the situation from his perspective, regardless of what his superior officers stated or expected.
The Internal Security Ministry denied that Erdan has specifically favored Turgeman for the job, however.
"At this stage there are many candidates; the minister approaches the process without opinions on this or that candidate," a spokesperson insisted Sunday.
Another person who considers himself a candidate for the top job is retired Commander Dan Ronen, former CEO of Home Front Defense Ministry during Erdan's term as Minister in the now-defunct office. Erdan is also reportedly not ruling out appointing a candidate from within the Israel Police.
Anticipation over the replacement for the Police Commissioner is high. Danino's term has been regarded as an unparalleled disaster – as violence in Jerusalem ran rampant over several months and after multiple sexual assault and other scandals have been uncovered in the upper echelons of the Israel Police during his tenure.