Ben Gvir Taps Avshalom Peled as Next Police Chief

By Aryeh Stern

Police Deputy Commissioner Avshalom Peled. (Nati Shohat/Flash90)

National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir has nominated Deputy Commissioner Avshalom Peled as the upcoming police commissioner of Israel, set to succeed outgoing commissioner Kobi Shabtai, whose term concludes on July 17.

The selection is poised to undergo scrutiny due to Ben Gvir’s past interactions with Peled and reports of a criminal investigation involving the officer. Approval from the coalition’s National Unity party, which joined the government amid wartime conditions, is required for all appointments of senior officials linked to the security situation.

Peled, with a 40-year tenure in law enforcement beginning in the Border Police during his mandatory IDF service, has been endorsed by Ben Gvir, as per a statement from the minister’s office. Serving as Shabtai’s deputy since April 2023, Peled is deemed by Ben Gvir as possessing rich experience, professionalism, and acumen.

Acknowledging Shabtai’s contributions despite past disagreements, Ben Gvir expressed gratitude for his leadership of the police force.

The appointment must gain approval from the Senior Appointments Advisory Committee, responsible for vetting appointments to key civil service roles.

Ben Gvir and Peled initially crossed paths during Peled’s tenure as Chevron district police chief from 2007 to 2009, during which Ben Gvir was an influential far-right figure active in the area.

Speculations abound regarding Peled’s potential role as a “puppet” for Ben Gvir, with allegations of meetings between Peled and the minister’s chief of staff reportedly involving unspecified demands.

Additionally, officials from the National Unity party expect Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu to honor agreements necessitating their approval of senior security appointments.

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