Police to Get First Muslim Commander

Minister of Public Security Gilad Erdan seen with Chief of Police Roni Alsheikh (R) as they attend an Internal Affairs committe in the Israeli parliament on February 9, 2016. Photo by Yonatan Sindel/Flash90
Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan (L.) seen with Chief of Police Roni Alshich as they attend an Internal Affairs committee in the Israeli parliament on Tuesday. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan is set to appoint Israel’s first Muslim police district commander. Deputy Commander Jamal Chachrush will soon be promoted to Commander, Erdan’s office said Wednesday night, and he will be put in charge of overall police activities in the Arab sector.

The promotion is part of an overall campaign to recruit more Arab, and especially Muslim, police officers. As a commander, Chachrush will be empowered to hire more police officers and open more police stations. Erdan and Israel Police Chief Roni Alshich are planning to hire some 1,300 more police officers to serve in the Arab sector over the next three years, and are waiting for budget approval for the project.

Chachrush has been serving in the police department since 1978, in a wide variety of jobs. In 2013 he was named deputy commander of the coastal district, which encompasses Tel Aviv and its environs. Chashrush, a father of four, lives in Kafr Kana, near Nazareth.

In a Knesset discussion on the matter Tuesday, Alshich said that relative to their numbers in the population, Israeli Arabs are responsible for far more than their “fair share” of crime in Israel. According to police statistics, Arabs, who make up 21 percent of Israel’s population, are responsible for 59 percent of murders and 47 percent of property crimes.

“The crime situation in the Arab sector is intolerable,” Alshich said in his remarks. “The main victims of crime in the Arab sector are Arabs themselves. There are many people in the Arab sector who want to help us bring the situation under control.”

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