Senior police officials have accused Jerusalem police head Yoram Halevy of holding secret talks with Netanyahu in a possible effort to affect the outcome of an ongoing probe into the prime minister and make Halevy the country’s top cop, Israel’s Channel 2 television reported on Thursday.
The prime minister’s office dismissed the report as “a total and tendentious lie,” while other senior police officers accused Alsheich, who is stepping down in December, of attempting to prevent Halevy from getting the job.
“[Alsheich] is trying to topple a potential successor via lies… He is trying to prepare himself for a fourth year in office,” they were quoted as saying.
The police deny a rift between the two commanders.
In a statement released earlier this week, a police spokesman denied any “confrontations” between the country’s senior police officers.
“The police commissioner will continue to work together with Asst.-Ch. Yoram Halevy to maintain a normal routine for the residents of Jerusalem and the surrounding area,” the statement added.
Senior police commanders consider Halevy to be a respected and experienced officer, making him the most likely person to replace Alsheich, who is stepping down later this year.
By then, police are expected to have wrapped up their conclusions to the state prosecution on all the three corruption cases involving Netanyahu, so if Alsheich leaves, they will have no impact on the outcome of the investigation.
In February, police recommended Netanyahu be charged with bribery, fraud, and breach of trust.
The Israeli PM has said that law enforcement officials were being pressured to pursue criminal investigations against him and that they were carrying out a “witch hunt” against him.