Public Security Minister Yitzhak Aharonvitch (Yisrael Beytenu) vowed to bring a "different spirit to the police force" on Tuesday, following the sudden retirement announcement of Jerusalem District Police Commander Yossi Pariente.
"These are difficult times for the Israel police, but I have complete and total confidence that we will move past this crisis," Aharonovitch stated. "This phenomenon in police leadership is disturbing to me, and I am determined to deal with it and bring a different spirit to the police."
"Whomever puts his own benefit before the benefit of his country will not stay with he police force," he added.
Aharonovitch's announcement surfaces just 24 hours after Pariente announced his retirement, ostensibly for "personal reasons."
But one source told Israeli news site Walla! earlier Tuesday that Pariente has "skeletons in his closet," and implied that Aharonovitch - like Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino, who announced new screening procedures Tuesday morning, including lie detector tests - are attempting to recover from a flurry of police mishaps.
The police force has been riven by a series of scandals over the past year. Among them include corruption charges filed against Lahav 433 Commander Menashe Arbiv, who is involved in the Rabbi Yoshayahu Pinto affair; the resignation of Jerusalem District Police Commander Major Gen. Niso Shahar on charges of attempted sexual assault; several other sexual harassment accusations regarding senior officers; and the poor handling of the police call made by Israeli teenagers Naftali Frenkel (16), Gilad Sha'ar (16), and Eyal Yifrah (19), hy"d, who called the 100 hotline soon after being abducted and were not taken seriously by hotline operators.
More recently, both Aharonovitch and Danino have faced criticism over Jerusalem's "silent intifada," with many accusing both of not doing enough to quell Arab rioting and unrest spreading from the capital's Arab neighborhoods outward.
Dissent over Jerusalem's rising crime and terror has even sparked protest outside of police headquarters - with demonstrations particularly targeting the Public Security Minister.