Danino, 52, previously headed the Southern District Police and the Investigations Department. As part of his duties he supervised the investigation that yielded the findings now used to indict Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman.
All senior ministers attended the exchange of command ceremony, excluding including Interior Minister Eli Yishai and Lieberman. The Mossad and Shin Bet chiefs attended as well.
Aharonovich (L), Danino and Netanyahu (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
"I have a deep feeling of responsibility and vocation," the incoming commissioner said. "I wholeheartedly believe in the police as the foundation of a law-abiding democratic society. I see in this role not only as a great honor and privilege, but also as an obligation to build and create a police force that would be the pride and glory of the entire state.
"I believe in strong, efficient police that works to fight crime and violence determinately, to root out corruption in the government and society, and to stop car accidents."
Danino called on young Israelis to join the police force: "Our police are on the verge of a new era, an era of change. I call on you to enlist and begin an attractive career… It's not only a personal and professional choice, but a national one," he said.
'Right person at right time'
Aharonovitch congratulated Danino during the ceremony: "You fought against crime and for the police officer's status and rights. I have no doubt that you will rise to these challenges in your new role as well. As someone who followed your career with satisfaction, I can say that you are the right person, at the right time."
Netanyahu addressed the unrest in the Middle East, and noted that Israel is the only nation in the region that is ruled by democracy. "Here in Israel, the achievement is manifold; the great transition that we have undergone towards self-government under the law, and the fact that the democratic regime is strong and steady," he said. "Unfortunately, it only exists here."
Passing on torch. Cohen (M) and Danino (Photo: Gil Yohanan)
The departing commissioner added that the law in Israel is "not a punishment but the expression of what people want. There nothing superior to serving the will of the people.
"Parting with Israel Police is difficult for me…" Cohen added, and hinted that he might pursue a career in politics. "Though I am taking the uniform off, I'm not disposing of the aspiration to serve the state in the future."
The new police chief is expected to appoint a new commanding staff for the Southern District , as well as the Northern, Tel Aviv and Jerusalem Districts, whose commanders have resigned recently.
Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein vetted Danino for the role, despite opposition from State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss, who demanded the appointment to be postponed until the completion of the investigation into Danino's role in the assassination of two police intelligence agents in 2006. In his report on the matter, which was release last month, the state comptroller did not cast blame on Danino in the case.
Yair Altman contributed to this report
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