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

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David Bedein is an MSW community organizer and an investigative journalist.   In 1987, Bedein established the Israel Resource News Agency at Beit Agron to accompany foreign journalists in their coverage of Israel, to balance the media lobbies established by the PLO and their allies.   Mr. Bedein has reported for news outlets such as CNN Radio, Makor Rishon, Philadelphia Inquirer, Los Angeles Times, BBC and The Jerusalem Post, For four years, Mr. Bedein acted as the Middle East correspondent for The Philadelphia Bulletin, writing 1,062 articles until the newspaper ceased operation in 2010. Bedein has covered breaking Middle East negotiations in Oslo, Ottawa, Shepherdstown, The Wye Plantation, Annapolis, Geneva, Nicosia, Washington, D.C., London, Bonn, and Vienna. Bedein has overseen investigative studies of the Palestinian Authority, the Expulsion Process from Gush Katif and Samaria, The Peres Center for Peace, Peace Now, The International Center for Economic Cooperation of Yossi Beilin, the ISM, Adalah, and the New Israel Fund.   Since 2005, Bedein has also served as Director of the Center for Near East Policy Research.   A focus of the center's investigations is The United Nations Relief and Works Agency for Palestine Refugees in the Near East (UNRWA). In that context, Bedein authored Roadblock to Peace: How the UN Perpetuates the Arab-Israeli Conflict - UNRWA Policies Reconsidered, which caps Bedein's 28 years of investigations of UNRWA. The Center for Near East Policy Research has been instrumental in reaching elected officials, decision makers and journalists, commissioning studies, reports, news stories and films. In 2009, the center began decided to produce short movies, in addition to monographs, to film every aspect of UNRWA education in a clear and cogent fashion.   The center has so far produced seven short documentary pieces n UNRWA which have received international acclaim and recognition, showing how which UNRWA promotes anti-Semitism and incitement to violence in their education'   In sum, Bedein has pioneered The UNRWA Reform Initiative, a strategy which calls for donor nations to insist on reasonable reforms of UNRWA. Bedein and his team of experts provide timely briefings to members to legislative bodies world wide, bringing the results of his investigations to donor nations, while demanding reforms based on transparency, refugee resettlement and the demand that terrorists be removed from the UNRWA schools and UNRWA payroll.   Bedein's work can be found at: www.IsraelBehindTheNews.com and www.cfnepr.com. A new site,unrwa-monitor.com, will be launched very soon.