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Israel: former police officers publish letter calling on Netanyahu to fire Ben-Gvir

March 9, 2023 at 4:26 pm

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (R) and Israeli National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir (L) [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

Former Israeli police officers have called on Benjamin Netanyahu to fire National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir in an open letter addressed to the prime minister published yesterday.

The former officers stated that Ben-Gvir works “contrary to the powers granted to him by law, interferes in the decision-making process during operations, and exploits events [on the ground] and the police for his political purposes.”

The letter warns that Ben-Gvir’s plan to continue the demolition of Palestinian homes in Jerusalem during the holy month of Ramadan will be like “throwing a lit match into a barrel of gunpowder, which may at best bring upon us the third intifada [uprising] and at worst unnecessarily ignite the Muslim world against Israel.”

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In previous years, the Israeli occupation authorities have tended to minimise their violence and aggression against the Palestinians during the fasting month to keep the situation in the occupied territories relatively calm.

The former officials also said that they plan to participate in the weekly anti-government protests in Tel Aviv on Saturday and called on “all former police officers and their families who support the police and democracy” to take part.

The letter has been published after twenty-five former police chiefs and commanders in Israel told Netanyahu that Ben-Gvir’s policies will lead to a third intifada.

In response, Ben Gvir dismissed the letter’s signatories as “failed” and thus irrelevant, even though they include former commissioners Shlomo Aharonishki, Assaf Hefetz, Roni Alsheich, Rafi Peled and Moshe Karadi. “All the failed officers have come together after they destroyed the police and ruined national security,” claimed the far-right extremist. “I was chosen by the people of Israel, they are the only ones I serve.” His comments were reported by the Times of Israel. 

In the past two months, thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets to protest against Netanyahu’s plans for judicial reform. Proposed by Justice Minister Yariv Levin, the reforms, if enacted, would be the most radical change ever in the system of government in Israel.

The planned changes would severely limit the power of the Supreme Court of Justice, give the government the power to choose judges and end the appointment of legal advisers to ministries by the Attorney General. However, Netanyahu, who is on trial for corruption, insists that his judicial plan will enhance democracy.

READ: Israelis continue rallies against government judicial overhaul plan