Shimon Lavi
Shimon LaviIsrael Police Spokesperson

Israel Police Northern District Chief Shimon Lavi has informed Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai of his intention to retire from the police force, one year following the Meron disaster in which 45 people were killed.

Lavi wrote to the commissioner in his letter of resignation: "Immediately after the disaster, I said that I, as the commander at the time of the incident, was responsible."

Lavi is expected to be one of the key witnesses to receive a warning letter from the State Commission of Inquiry into the Meron disaster.

The police statement said that the commissioner thanked Lavi for his service and wished him success in his future endeavors. "As commander of the Northern District, Superintendent Shimon Lavi acted in many areas, including the fight against crime in the Arab sector and the building of the police force for the future."

In a media statement a day after the disaster, Superintendent Lavi said: "I bear overall responsibility, for better or worse. I am prepared for any investigation. We are in the process of gathering evidence to get to the truth. There are videos that have nothing to do with reality."