Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir & Police Commissioner Yaakov Shabtai
Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir & Police Commissioner Yaakov ShabtaiJamal Awad/Flash90

Police Commissioner Yaakov (Kobi) Shabtai and National Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir have clashed again, according to a report published in the left-wing newspaper Haaretz, this time, over Ben-Gvir's demand that the police assign additional officers to conduct demolition operations in eastern Jerusalem.

In response to the recent wave of terrorist attacks and ongoing rampant construction of illegal residential units in Arab neighborhoods, Ben-Gvir allegedly asked Shabtai to advance the demolition of such homes and increase the pace, shortly after one such operation in the neighborhood of Jabel Mukhaber.

The report claims that the conversation between Ben-Gvir and Shabtai descended into "loud tones of voice" and that Shabtai told the minister: "That's not how decisions are made ... I have already presented you with the plan of what we're able to do in face of operational constraints. I don't have an additional 300 police officers to allocate to this. Do you have another 300 police officers to give me? We'll go ahead with the evacuations of the buildings in Jerusalem according to the plans that we already agreed on."

Meanwhile, senior police officers have apparently revealed their difficulties in working with Ben-Gvir, noting that more than once they have only learned of his positions and demands via press releases. Nonetheless, the demolitions of illegally built homes in Arab parts of the capital have increased in pace since the devastating terrorist attack in Neve Yaakov just over two weeks ago.

Following the publication of the report in Haaretz, a police spokesperson issued a statement saying: "Israel Police does not address work-related conversations conducted between the Minister and the Police Commissioner."

Ben-Gvir's office released a statement saying: "We do not know of any such conversation."