Ben-Gvir’s National Guard will ‘harm security,’ create confusion – Police commissioner

Ben-Gvir says opposition to new security body stems from “ego wars” within the police, insists initiative will go ahead as planned.

By Lauren Marcus, World Israel News

Attorney General Gali Baharav-Miara and Police Commissioner Kobi Shabtai publicly expressed their opposition to the formation of a new National Guard headed by Public Security Minister Itamar Ben-Gvir, claiming that the new body could hurt national security.

Establishing a National Guard “as an independent and separate body from the police, directly subordinate to the National Security Ministry could cause heavy damage to the operational capabilities of the internal security systems in the country…and harm the security of the citizens,” Shabtai said in a statement on Sunday morning.

“This is due to damage to the… chain of command… power struggles between organizations and entities, and most of all, a lack of clarity regarding [which body is] the highest commanding entity, which bears the overall responsibility,” he added.

Shabtai charged that there “is no real reason for this unnecessary move” and “there are no advantages” to Ben-Gvir’s plan.

After the Association for Civil Rights in Israel filed a petition with Baharav-Miara, arguing that “establishing an armed force subject to the national security minister and separate from the police” is inherently “illegitimate,” the attorney general issued a ruling agreeing with their claim.

“There is a legal impediment to advancing this…proposal,” Baharav-Miara wrote to Ben-Gvir’s office on Sunday.

Ben-Gvir’s ministry responded forcefully to Shabtai and Baharav-Miara’s opposition to the formation of the National Guard.

“There are senior police officers who do not want a National Guard, because of ego wars,” read a statement from his office.

“There is a consensus that a National Guard is necessary to safeguard personal security, to fight the phenomenon of illegal possession of weapons, the crime wars, agricultural terrorism – and therefore the National Guard will be established.”

In reference to Baharav-Miara’s statement, Ben-Gvir’s office said that the attorney general “does not understand her place as an advisor,” adding that she is acting improperly in order to block the establishment of the body.