Judea-Samaria District Commander Resigns

Commander Koby Cohen steps down amid allegations of an inappropriate relationship with subordinate; sixth scandal in police under Danino.

Orly Harari and Tova Dvorin ,

Judea-Samaria District Commander Koby Cohen
Judea-Samaria District Commander Koby Cohen

Commander of the Judea and Samaria District Koby Cohen has decided to retire from the police Saturday, against the backdrop of suspicions that he had an inappropriate relationship with a police officer under his command. 

Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino accepted Cohen's resignation request Saturday to retire from his post in the coming weeks; Cohen's resignation will mark the sixth resignation of an Israel Police officer under suspicious circumstances under his command, including Niso Shaham, Roni Atiya, Bruno Stein, Menashe Arbiv and Yossi Pariente. 

"The Police Commissioner accepted the request and said that he regrets the circumstances in which Cohen finishes his service," police said. "The Police Commissioner thanks Major General Cohen for years of dedicated and professional service." 

The investigation on the matter was triggered by an anonymous complaint was submitted to the Police Investigations Department (PID) and leaked to the Israeli press two weeks ago.

Cohen, who was appointed to the post in 2013, is suspected of beginning a relationship with a subordinate cop on Facebook, even allegedly promising to take her to Poland with him on a police-related trip, according to Walla! News.

According to the correspondence, obtained by PID, Cohen allegedly promised the cop career advancement and other benefits if she responded to his requests.

Cohen was questioned for more than nine hours at the PIS offices in Jerusalem Thursday, and admitted to some of the allegations against him.

Commander Cohen's deputy, Brigadier General David Biton, will take his place as Judea-Samaria District Commander until the appointment of a new District Commander, which is likely only to occur after six months, when Danino is also due to be replaced. Police sources told the daily that due to the shortage in officers, however, Biton may be simply promoted to the position permanently.

The incident is yet another scandal marking Danino's career this year. A media frenzy over Pariente's resignation in October garnered so much backlash that the Commissioner pledged to "clean up the force" and initiate a polygraph test policy for future police candidates.