Senior police official retires after being sidelined on budget management

Israel Police Deputy Commissioner Danny Karibo announced on Tuesday that he will be retiring, reportedly due to frustration at having been pushed aside over the management of the force’s budget.

Karibo, who served as the head of the police planning department, had seen Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai recently transfer authority over the budget from Karibo to Deputy Inspector General Avishai Peled, according to Channel 12 news.

Shabtai ordered the move despite responsibility for the budget having been with the planning department for many years.

Karibo had also clashed with National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir on several occasions over the last few months.

In March, the Ynet news site published an internal police document signed by Karibo showing the Israel Police would not be receiving a promised NIS 9 billion in extra funds, but rather just NIS 1 billion over the next two years.

In another step that reportedly angered Ben Gvir, Karibo also refused to accept extra funds from the Finance Ministry to fund special grants for new recruits to Jerusalem’s Border Police, arguing that such grants would negatively discriminate against other police officers.

“After a term of two and a half years in a demanding position full of meaningful work, and 32 years in the Civil Service, I have reached a sense of accomplishment, along with a deep sense of satisfaction,” Karibo said in a statement to the press announcing his retirement.

Karibo’s resignation comes as efforts are reportedly being made by National Security Minister Itamar Ben Gvir and Shabtai to replace another senior officer, Tel Aviv Commander Ami Eshed.

Eshed raised Ben Gvir’s ire after adopting a more restrained approach to the protests against the government’s judicial overhaul program than the minister desired.

Itamar Ben Gvir, left, and Police chief Kobi Shabtai attend a meeting at the Knesset in Jerusalem, on December 14, 2022. (Yonatan Sindel/Flash90)

On March 9, Ben Gvir announced Eshed would be removed from his post and transferred to head up the police training department, but Attorney General Gali Baharav Miara froze the decision, saying she was seriously concerned about the legality and soundness of the process, including the motives behind the decision.

Channel 12 said Ben Gvir and Shabtai are expected to nevertheless appoint a new commander for the Tel Aviv district. Eshed is expected to resign rather than take the new position.

The leading candidate for Tel Aviv commander is Amir Cohen, the current commander of the Border Police gendarmerie unit, which is responsible for riot control, counter-terrorism in the West Bank, and border security, among other missions.

Ben Gvir and Shabtai are also expected to make several other senior command appointments in the coming weeks.

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