Jerusalem – Israeli Attorney General Meni Mazuz has given a formal directive to Chief Israeli Government State Attorney Eran Shendar to launch a criminal investigation into activities of Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.
This particular directive refers to two matters: a matter involving appointments in the Israel Small Business Authority and an affair involving the Israel Investment Center.
In both cases, Mr. Olmert is suspected of acting unlawfully.
Mr. Shendar’s recommendation follows a request submitted to him by State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss to investigate both affairs.
The findings of the comptroller’s investigation dealt with the appointments of associates allegedly made by Mr. Olmert in the Small Business Authority while serving as the Israeli Minister of Industry, Trade and Labor.
Mr. Mazuz began his examination following an opinion by the Israel State Comptroller, according to which “the failures in the authority’s activity should be examined, with regard to recruiting workers and project managers, and regarding the use made [of the authority] by senior managers in the Industry, Trade and Labor Ministry in order to benefit political associates of the party of then-minister Ehud Olmert.”
The attorney general is expected to issue a directive to investigate Mr. Olmert in his purchase of a home in Jerusalem’s German Colony, where he received an apparent reduction in price because of an association with a political crony.
Barak: ‘We Must Not Be Deluded By Imaginary Tranquility’
Against the background of the impression that the tension between Israel and Syria is waning, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has issued a warning: “We must not be deluded by what gives the appearance of detente but is really an illusion.”
At the state memorial ceremony on Sunday for the soldiers who fell in the Yom Kippur War 34 years ago, Mr. Barak added: “We have to foster and render more sophisticated the qualitative advantages of Israel’s strength as though the next war were just around the corner.”
Of the lessons that Israel had learned from the Yom Kippur War, Mr. Barak said: “The State of Israel emerged from that war a different country – hurting and humbled, but undefeated,” he said. “If there is a national lesson to be learned, it is not only one of self-flagellation for our sins. What we need is presence of mind and a steady hand on the trigger.”
Also speaking at the ceremony, Chief of Staff Lt. Gen. Gabi Ashkenazi, said: “The lesson that I learned from that war is first of all, that we must keep a watchful eye on the reality of the situation, and not fall into the trap of wishful thinking.”
Meanwhile the cabinet decided on Sunday to release another 90 Fatah prisoners as a gesture to PA Chairman Abu Mazen. The ministerial committee for the release of prisoners approved the prisoners to be released.
A review of the file listing the 87 Palestinian prisoners slated for release, posted on the Israel Prison Service, reveals that 47 of them were convicted for attempting to kill by planting or throwing bombs or by shooting.
In the compilation below, in order to avoid double counting, the following hierarchy was followed: those convicted of attempting to murder (“attempting to cause death”) were counted for that offense regardless of if they were also convicted for shooting or bombing. Someone who bombed and shot is counted as a bomber.
* Fifty-eight prisoners being released who are West Bank residents of which 13 were sentenced for attempting to murder, eight for planting or throwing bombs/fire bombs and 16 for shooting.
* Twenty-nine prisoners being released who are Gaza residents, of which five were sentenced for attempted murder, 4 for planting or throwing bombs/fire bombs and 1 shooting.
* A grand total of 87, of which 18 sentenced for attempted murder, 12 for planting or throwing bombs and 17 for shooting.
David Bedein can be reached at Media@actcom.co.il. His Web site is www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com
©The Bulletin 2007