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Prisons Chief Appointment Canceled

Reports of inappropriate behavior lead Attorney General to cancel appointment of new Israel Prisons Commissioner.
By Elad Benari
First Publish: 3/28/2011, 5:06 AM / Last Update: 3/28/2011, 8:10 AM

Israel News photo: Flash 90

The Attorney General announced on Sunday that the appointment of Major-General Eli Gabizon as the Israeli Prisons Service Commissioner is canceled. The main candidate for the position is now Jerusalem District Police commander Aharon Franco.

The Turkel Commission, which approves such appointments, announced that it would delay Gabizon’s appointment after it received numerous complaints about him, among them that Gabizon behaved inappropriately and exploited his position as senior officer.

The Turkel Commission had approached the Ministry of Public Security to delay the appointment but did not receive an answer and then contacted Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein instead. According to reports, Weinstein had asked Gabizon to take a lie detector test, which Gabizon failed, leading Weinstein to cancel the appointment.

Public Security Minister Yitzchak Aharonovich had announced Gabizon’s appointment as the next IPS Commissioner last month. Gabizon is currently the IPS Southern District commander and would have begun his term as the 16th IPS Commissioner next month, when current IPS Commissioner, Lt.-Gen. Benny Kaniak, completes his four-year term. 

Gabizon was to have been the first IPS Commissioner who came from the ranks of the organization. Ever since its establishment 61 years ago, the IPS was always under the command of an external appointee from one of the other security arms, usually from the police.

“I have no doubt that Gabizon will lead IPS in the best way possible and be able to deal with the many challenges facing the organization and to the State of Israel,” Aharonovich said of the appointment at the time.

Gabizon said on Sunday, after it was announced that his appointment is canceled, that he would appeal the decision to the Supreme Court.