Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh received a warning several weeks ago that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's close associates were unhappy with him.
A few weeks ago, Alsheikh got a phone call from an associate, who also has ties to the prime minister's people, warning him he was in the Prime Minister Office's "crosshairs."
The associate also told the police chief that Netanyahu's people view him as a "traitor" and "ungrateful."
They believe Alsheikh is angry because he was not appointed the head of the Shin Bet, a position he desired. Alsheikh, meanwhile, claims that when he was appointed police commissioner, he called the prime minister and told him he was giving up on the Shin Bet director job.
The police chief's associate warned him he would soon face an attack targeting him personally.
Alsheikh responded he was not worried and kept the warning mostly to himself, not wishing to further exacerbate the tensions between him and the prime minister. He only shared the warning with his closest of allies, insisting it would not affect his work.
However, it appears Alsheikh's work has been affected, as the police chief has recently been avoiding giving his periodical briefings to the government on the police's work.
Netanyahu launched an unprecedented attack on Alsheikh this weekend, after it was reported the police planned to question him again in connection with ongoing corruption investigations against him.
The prime minister vented frustration over the way in which the investigations against him were being handled and accused the police of being responsible for "a tsunami of leaks" to the media.
But the offensive against the police chief began even earlier, when a journalist with close ties to the prime minister wrote a false story meant to present Alsheikh as one who is acting based on foreign, political motives.
The journalist's report claimed Alsheikh was planning to run for office in the next election. However, the commissioner would not be able to run for office even if he wanted to, due to the law mandating a cooling-off period for high-ranking members of the security forces.
Earlier this week, following Netanyahu's attack, the police chief spoke to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, telling him about the warning he had received and expressing his anger at Netanyahu's conduct and that of his close circle.
"This kind of behavior is more befitting of criminals and the mob," a close associate of Alsheikh said. "These threats and the personal attack against the commissioner are a danger to democracy."
In his first public comments on the prime minister's accusations on Monday, Alsheikh categorically denied any police involvement in the leaks.
“I have no doubt that the leaks are not coming from the police. We do everything in order to preserve the purity of the investigations and remain with clean hands,” he said.
“We will do our work without favoritism and I will lend support to anyone doing their work in the field.”