The police's Senior Command Staff meeting that was scheduled for Monday was canceled, reportedly due to tensions within the staff over the approaching announcement of the identity of the next police commissioner. The official reason for the cancellation was that “there is no news,” according to Acting Commissioner, Deputy Commissioner Bentzi Sau.
Sau is one of the three men who are in contention for the job. The two others are Southern District Commander, Deputy Commissioner Yoram Halevy; Northern District Commander, Deputy Commissioner Zohar Dvir. Halevy, 51, is the former commander of Yamam, the Border Police SWAT unit, and headed the Lahav 433 investigations department for a year. Dvir, 52, is also a former Yamam commander.
The tension in the police's top ranks is mirrored in the Israel Prisons Service (IPS), where Commissioner Aharon Franco is due to end his term after more than four years.
According to IDF Radio, Minister of Internal Security Gilad Erdan may announce his picks for both jobs at the same time. He has extended Franco's term by one month, reportedly in order to concentrate on the appointment of the police commissioner, but has also begin meeting the IPS deputy commisioners.
The candidates to head the IPS include Border Police Commander, Deputy Commisioner Amos Yaakov, and Head of the Prisoner's Division in the IPS, Deputy Commisioner Ofra Kliger. Either appointment would signal a departure from the tradition of appointing a police officer to head the IPS. Usually, such appointments were compensation for not being picked as police commissioner.