Police commissioner Kobi Shabtai
Police commissioner Kobi Shabtai Yonatan Sindel/Flash90

Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, responded Tuesday evening to the warning letter he received along with other senior officials from the Commission of Inquiry into the 2021 Meron disaster.

"I said from the beginning the establishment of the committee. The cooperation with the committee was and will be in full," Shabtai said.

He clarified that he does not intend to resign from his position. "This is a time of testing that obliges us, professionally and ethically, to continue police activity for the sake of the security of the state and the public. I will continue to lead the Israel Police in this complex period on the way to continuing to achieve the goals of the fight against crime and terrorism, the great mission that guides myself and the other police officers."

Earlier, the Likud party criticized the committee's decision to send a warning letter to party chairman Benjamin Netanyahu, who was prime minister at the time of the disaster. "We share in the great pain of the families. Since the founding of the state, no state investigative committee has sent warning letters to election candidates during an election period. It is unfortunate that the investigative committee established at the initiative of the Bennet-Lapid government chose to do so."

The Commission of Inquiry into the 2021 Meron disaster sent warning letters on Tuesday to several senior officials who were involved in the decision-making during the tragedy that killed 45 people at the tomb of Rabbi Shimon Bar Yochai in Meron.

Of those who received the letters: former prime minister Binyamin Netanyahu, former ministers Amir Ohana and Rabbi Yaakov Avitan, Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai, outgoing northern district chief Deputy Commissioner Shimon Lavi, and police security department chief Assistant Commissioner Morris Hen.