Public Security Minister Avi Dichter has passed on to the legal division of his ministry a petition by the Land of Israel Legal Forum against the appointment of Maj.-Gen. Shachar Ayalon as deputy police commander. Dichter announced his intention to appoint Ayalon as deputy to Maj.-Gen. Dudi Cohen, his latest proposed replacement for outgoing police chief Moshe Karadi.

As soon as Dichter announced his decision regarding Ayalon, the Land of Israel Legal Forum cited an episode which they claim should disqualify Ayalon from filling the position.

Ayalon was caught on film ordering the officers under his command to violate the law by removing their name tags prior to the forced evacuation of the Chavat Gilad

"Ayalon sought to undermine [the] foundation [of human rights protections]...."

(Gilad Farm) hilltop community in October of 2002. The footage also documents him telling them not to worry about charges being filed against them, as he would “dissolve the files."

"Maj.-Gen. Shachar Ayalon has a stain on his past record that justifies blocking his advancement to a senior position in the police," Legal Forum Attorney Nachi Ayal wrote to the Public Security Minister. “During his service as commander of the Judea and Samaria region police, on October 19, 2002, at the start of the evacuation, commander Ayalon ordered the police under his command to remove their identification tags. The orders were caught on tape and broadcast on Channel 10. Ayalon also told his officers that they should answer anyone asking what their name is, 'My name is Shachar Ayalon.'

"After complaints were filed with the police chief and other overseeing bodies, the decision was passed down: 'In light of the legal guidelines requiring identification, it was decided to take disciplinary action at the order of the police commander, which will be registered in [Ayalon’s] personal file.'"

Ayal told Arutz-7 that as long as Dichter refrains from announcing the appointment officially, it is not possible to submit the complaint to other legal bodies, but such a step will be weighed in the event that Dichter announces a decision to go ahead with the appointment despite Ayalon’s past.

A second letter was sent by the entire Legal Forum to Dichter on Tuesday morning, stressing the severity of Ayalon’s actions with regard to human rights violations and the kind of violence exhibited by police at events like the destruction of nine houses in Amona:

"We must repeat and warn that the actions of Maj.-Gen. Ayalon were especially severe in light of the potential to interfere with the disciplinary system in place in the police, along with human rights. The commander gave orders to blatantly violate a basic regulation that is mandated by law. The obligation to display name tags is meant to ensure exposure, investigation and justice in cases where there exists the possibility that force was used illegally by police. The order to remove those tags, when there existed the strong possibility that force would be used, was given in an attempt to disrupt the process of investigation and to disrupt the

"Ayalon has a stain on his past record that justifies blocking his advancement...." - Attorney Nachi Ayal

gathering of testimony and evidence - all in order to make impossible the investigation of violations of the law by police.

"The giving of illegal orders to subordinates broadcasts a message of lawlessness, where violent behavior is encouraged because one is guaranteed not to be identified.

"Without the wearing of name tags, there can be no identification of violent police officers. Without the identification of violent police officers, there can be no investigation and trial. Without an investigation and trial, it will be impossible to implement the norms that limit the power of the regime and it will be impossible to defend the civilian against capriciousness and coercion. Identification, investigation and application of the law are the foundation of human rights protections. Maj.-Gen. Ayalon sought to undermine that foundation, which disqualifies him for promotion."

The letter concluded, "In the event that the appointment goes through, the Land of Israel Legal Forum will act to raise the issue for discussion in the Knesset's Internal Affairs Committee, without prejudicing our right to appeal to the court system."