Hertzel Shapira

Is a retired Israel Defense Forces (IDF) general and the 7th Commissioner General of the Israel Police.

Early Life and Military Service:
Hertzel Shapira was born with the name Hertzel Schachterman to Miriam (née Friedman) and Zvi Schachterman in Tel Aviv, Israel. He attended Tachkemoni School and then the Hebrew Reali School in Haifa, adjacent to the Technion. Shapira joined the Palmach in 1947 and participated in various operations as part of the Third Battalion. Among other roles, he led the resistance in the town of Nabi Yusha. After his service in the Palmach, he completed an officer's course and served as an instructor at the Officer's School.

In 1950, he was released from regular IDF service and became the commander of an armored infantry company in the reserves. At the age of 21, he became the first reservist to complete the General Staff and Command Course. He then returned to active duty and was appointed as the commander of a tank company. During the Sinai War, he served as a brigade operations officer and later as a deputy brigade commander.

Shapira was sent to the United States for advanced studies in geography and economics at the Hebrew University. Prior to the Six-Day War, he was appointed as the deputy commander and chief of staff of Israel Tal's Armored Division, Brigade 84. After the war, he served as the chief of staff of the Central Command.

Police Career:
In 1980, Shapira was appointed as the 7th Commissioner General of the Israel Police. During his tenure, he introduced methods for improving the welfare of police officers, inspired by practices from his military service. He was known for his stringent selection criteria for senior police officers and did not rely solely on recommendations from within the police force.

Controversy and Departure:
On December 31, 1980, Shapira was dismissed from his position as Commissioner General of the Israel Police by Interior Minister Dr. Yosef Burg. Shapira alleged that his dismissal was due to his intention to investigate a controversial case known as the "Ephraim Case," which involved senior Israeli officials. The government-appointed legal advisor, Professor Yitzhak Zamir, examined the material and dismissed most of Shapira's accusations against Burg.

Post-Service Public Roles:
After retiring from the police force, Shapira served as the chairman and member of several public committees, including:

1. The Shapira Committee (1992): Appointed by Chief of General Staff Ehud Barak to examine ways to reduce the active duty and compulsory military service periods in the IDF.
2. The Shapira Committee on Environmental Quality: Appointed by Minister of Environmental Quality Gideon Ezra to assess preparedness and handling of hazardous materials in times of peace and emergencies.
3. The Shapira Committee on IDF Reorganization: Appointed by Chief of General Staff Lt. Gen. Dan Halutz to review the comprehensive reorganization of the IDF conducted in 2005.

Later Life:
Hertzel Shapira also ran for the Knesset, Israel's parliament, in the 10th Knesset elections but did not secure a seat.

Shapira is the younger brother of former Knesset member Avraham Schachterman. He was married to Ora (1931–1977) and had three children. His son, Zvi, was severely injured during the Yom Kippur War and passed away in 1997. Hertzel Shapira currently resides in Ramat Hasharon, Israel.

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