web analytics
October 22, 2016 / 20 Tishri, 5777

Posts Tagged ‘investigation’

Former Israeli Defense Minister Binyamin Fuad Ben-Eliezer Dies at Age 80

Sunday, August 28th, 2016

by Ilana Messika
Veteran Israeli politician and IDF officer Binyamin “Fuad” Ben-Eliezer died today at the age of 80 at the Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center due to complications of kidney disease.

“Fuad served the State of Israel for decades. He did so as a fighter, as a commander, as a public figure, and as a senior minister. I knew him and appreciated his contribution and remarkable character.”said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

“Many conversations with Fuad showed his concern and commitment to the future of the country that he loved so much. May he rest in peace,” he concluded.

Ben-Eliezer, born in Basra under the name Fuad, emigrated to Israel from Iraq with his family in 1950. Upon arriving in Israel, he adopted the Hebrew name Binyamin and joined the IDF, where he had a long and illustrious career.

He served in the Six-Day War and the Yom Kippur War before being appointed Commanding Officer in Southern Lebanon in 1977, as the IDF liaison between Israel and the Christians of Lebanon.

From 1983 to 1984, he served as the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories, charged with the responsibility of implementing the government’s civilian policy in Judea and Samaria and vis-a-vis the Gaza Strip.

Fuad Ben-Eliezer was also a 30-year veteran of Israeli politics. Elected in 1984 on the Yahad list, he served in the Knesset until 2014 as part of the Alignment party, which later became Labor.

In 1994, as part of his tenure as minister of construction and housing, he was sent by Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin as the first Israeli minister to meet with Palestine Liberation Organization Chairman Yasser Arafat.

Following the establishment of a national unity government in 2001 led by Ariel Sharon and Ehud Barak, Ben-Eliezer assumed the post of defense minister until he resigned in 2002 when Labor left the coalition.

In response to the second intifada, he was a central proponent of Operation Defensive Shield, the first large-scale military operation to be carried out in Judea and Samaria since the Six-Day War, He continued on to serve in various ministerial positions in the 2003, 2006, and 2009 Labor governments.

Four days prior to the Knesset vote to elect a new president in June 2014, Ben-Eliezer withdrew his candidacy for the position due to a police probe on suspicions of illegal gambling and bribes which he had allegedly received during his years in office. He officially resigned from office in December, 2014 due to health issues and to focus on clearing his name.

Opposition Chairman and Zionist Union MK Isaac Herzog related, “I had recently conducted many conversations with Fuad about the cloud that surrounded him at the end of his life and he repeatedly insisted he was innocent.

“He was a fearless fighter and a Labor party leader who died surrounded by many admirers and friends,” Herzog concluded.

Ben-Eliezer died while his reputation was still shrouded in suspicion following a six-month police investigation. He was indicted by the Israeli attorney general in December 2015 along with 10 other suspects for accepting bribes amounting to more than $500,000 as well as money laundering, breach of trust, fraud and tax offenses.

Ben-Eliezer suffered from a severe kidney disease for which he was previously rushed to the Assaf HaRofeh hospital in Tel Aviv in serious condition, prior to his transfer to Sourasky Medical Center.

“The Tel Aviv Sourasky Medical Center and the Israeli National Transplant Center would like to thank the family of Binyamin Ben-Eliezer for agreeing to donate the deceased’s corneas for transplant purposes.” stated Ichilov Hospital.

Binyamin “Fuad” Ben-Eliezer is survived by his wife and five children. Baruch Dayan Emet.

TPS / Tazpit News Agency

Unwitting Israelis May Still Be Eating Tainted Telma Cornflakes

Sunday, August 7th, 2016

Members of the Knesset State Control Committee are being called back from their vacations to a special session on Tuesday for an investigation into the failure to to prevent salmonella-tainted Telma cornflakes from reaching consumers in Israel.

An inquiry team will arrive at the Unilever Israel Telma factory in Arad as well to conduct a “comprehensive inspection,” lawmakers said, and may consider legal action against the firm.

The Health Ministry has also set up a separate commission of inquiry, headed by Prof. Itamar Gruto, chief of public health services at the ministry.

“We are considering removing the license on the production line,” said Health Minister Yaakov Litzman (United Torah Judaism) on Friday. “Unilever has failed in its conduct and lied to the public and to the Ministry of Health. We view that with severity.”

Inspectors at the manufacturer’s Unilever umbrella company discovered early Friday that 240 boxes of the popular cereal were nowhere to be found, according to a report by Channel 10 News.

All were part of the same shipment recalled by Telma last week due to the discovery of salmonella bacteria in one of the packages.

But it is feared the missing boxes have already reached consumers who shopped at the Shufersal supermarket chain. A customer called the Unilever hotline to report she had purchased a box of the cereal that matched the recalled product number.

Unilever contacted Shufersal to track down where the sale had taken place, eventually pinning it down to the store in Kibbutz Be’erot Yitzchak, in central Israel. Unilever Israel CEO Anat Gabriel also issued a public apology on Thursday night. “I apologize from the bottom of my heart for the recent events,” she said. “We apologize that we mistakenly announced that no product from the tainted line had reached the market.”

The incident sparked heightened concerns from the Health Ministry, which issued a statement Saturday night, warning that consumers who become ill to call a doctor right away. “We see in this announcement [that tainted boxes were sold] a result of negligence on the part of the company, both towards the public and toward the Health Ministry,” the ministry said.

“The species of salmonella [in question] is not rare or aggressive. It may cause diarrhea or fever. If these symptoms appear, please turn to your doctor.”

The missing packages, which were tracked, are not to be found in any of the storerooms nor on any supermarket shelves stocked by the distributors.

Unilever Israel also released a contamination notice to consumers that read: “Consumers who have in their possession a product on the above list are asked to not consume it and to contact Unilever’s consumer service desk, telephone 1-800-780-780, to obtain a replacement product and have the product in your possession collected.”

The “above list” referred to 240 750-gram packets of Telma brand cornflakes with kosher certification from the ultra-Orthodox Edah Haharedit organization and a production date of June 27, 2016.

The notice asked consumers to take a precautionary measure by avoiding several brands in particular such as Cornflakes of Champions cereal (Alufim) purchased on June 26 and 27; Eda HaHaredit kosher-certified Cornflakes purchased on June 23, June 27, 28 and 29; and Cocoman Tzedafim (Shells) cereal purchased on June 29 and 30.

Tazpit Press Service (TPS) contributed to this report.

Hana Levi Julian

2014 Gaza War Parents Demand Investigation of Operation’s Conduct, High Losses

Monday, July 25th, 2016

Two years after Operation Protective Edge, in which 66 IDF soldiers and five civilians were killed, the bereaved families of the fallen are demanding an independent committee to examine the preparations for the war, the way it was conducted, and the lessons to be learned.

The 32 families on Sunday demanded in a letter to Prime Minister Netanyahu and Defense Minister Liberman that a state commission headed by a judge investigate the government’s decision-making process throughout the war.

In their letter, the families mentioned the fact that the Knesset Foreign and Security Committee had been asked to examine the events of the 2014 war and has yet to issue a report. One report that had been produced by the committee was shelved because of the 2015 elections. Referring to the same committee’s publicized intent to renew its investigation, the families argued it made no sense to “reconvene a committee that has already investigated the events and opted not to publish its conclusions.”

“Even if the decision to shelve the conclusions was made by a different person than the current committee head, it would be inappropriate to renew the discussion after such a long period of time, and it could appear as a lack of transparency or exterior pressures which do not belong in an investigation of this scope,” the families wrote.

On the evening of June 12, 2014, three Israeli teenagers were kidnapped and later murdered in Judea and Samaria by Hamas operatives. Their bodies were discovered on June 30. Israel retaliated with air strikes on Gaza in which 3 Arabs were killed and a dozen injured. Hamas retaliated with rockets that were fired at Israeli civilian centers wounding three people. On July 7, 80 rockets were fired from the Gaza Strip, and the Netanyahu security cabinet decided to launch a counter-terrorist operation. The IDF bombarded targets in the Gaza Strip with artillery and airstrikes, and Hamas continued to fire rockets and mortar shells into Israel. A cease-fire proposal was announced by the Egyptian government and PA Chairman Mahmoud Abbas on July 14, and the Israeli government accepted it and stopped the attacks on the morning of July 15. But Hamas rejected the ceasefire and the war was renewed. By July 16 the death toll in Gaza had reached 200.

On July 16, Hamas and Islamic Jihad offered a 10-year truce with ten conditions, including lifting of the Gaza blockade and the release of prisoners who were re-arrested after being released in the Gilad Shalit prisoner swap. Israel refused those terms. On July 17, a five-hour humanitarian ceasefire, proposed by the UN, took place. But a few hours before the ceasefire was to start, 13 armed Hamas terrorists emerging from a tunnel on the Israeli side of the Gaza border. The IDF destroyed the tunnel’s exit, ending the incursion.

After the ceasefire, the IDF launched a ground offensive on the Gaza Strip, aimed at destroying the terror tunnels crossing under the Israeli border. On July 20, the IDF entered Shuja’iyya in Gaza City and encountered heavy resistance. Thirteen IDF soldiers were killed, including two Americans serving in Israel. Seven of the IDF soldiers were killed as their armored vehicle was hit by an anti-tank rocket or an improvised explosive device, and three were killed in clashes with terrorists. Three IDF soldiers were trapped in a burning house. In the next 24 hours, three more IDF soldiers were killed in Shuja’iyya.

Shortly after the battle, twenty civilians from Shuja’iyya were shot for protesting against Hamas. Hamas said it had executed Israeli spies.

On August 3, the IDF pulled most of its ground forces out of the Gaza Strip after completing the destruction of 32 terror tunnels. On August 5 Israel announced that it had arrested Hossam Kawasmeh, suspected of having organized the killing of the three teenagers. According to court documents, Kawasmeh stated that Hamas members in Gaza financed the recruitment and arming of the killers.


Former Netanyahu Chief of Staff Ari Harrow Interrogated A Second Time

Monday, July 18th, 2016

The former chief of staff for Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was questioned a second time under caution on Monday.

Ari Harrow was taken for questioning last week upon his arrival at Ben Gurion International Airport, although he was told he was not being arrested.

After 14 hours of interrogation “under caution” — implying he was indeed a suspect in the unspecified investigation — he was released to five days of house arrest.

The interrogation was carried out in connection with a probe into allegations of fraud in an initial investigation into the activities of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his family, as well as other government figures.

A spokesperson for Israel Police said the National Fraud Investigation Unit last week asked Harrow to provide testimony about Netanyahu’s alleged financial misappropriations.

Earlier last week Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit ordered an initial probe into the prime minister’s actions as part of the wider investigation of financial activity by government officials.

Harrow served as chief of staff to Netanyahu in 2014.

Hana Levi Julian

Former PM Chief of Staff Detained for Questioning About Netanyahu

Thursday, July 14th, 2016

Former Prime Ministerial Chief of Staff Ari Harrow was detained Thursday morning at Ben Gurion International Airport upon his arrival from abroad. Harrow served as chief of staff to PM Benjamin Netanyahu in 2014.

A spokesperson for Israel Police said the National Fraud Investigation unit asked Harrow to provide testimony about Netanyahu’s alleged financial misappropriations. Earlier this week, Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit ordered an initial probe into the prime minister’s actions as part of the wider investigation of financial activity by government officials.

Although the Los Angeles-born former chief of staff was taken into custody, it was made clear that he was not under investigation himself, nor was he being arrested.

Other government officials who have been under investigation include Opposition Leader and Zionist Union chairman MK Isaac Herzog, former Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirschenbaum and former Tourism Minister Stas Misezhnikov of Yisrael Beitenu, and former Defense Minister Binyamin ‘Fuad’ Ben-Eliezer among others.

Hana Levi Julian

Speaker Edelstein Calls on AG to Conclude Police ‘Blackmail List’ Investigation

Thursday, July 7th, 2016

Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein on Wednesday demanded that Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit conclude his examination of a secret Israel Police dossier which reportedly details evidence regarding alleged offenses committed by Knesset members.

In his letter to the Attorney General, Edelstein said, “On June 22, 2016 a meeting was held in my office with the Police Commissioner and the head of the Police Investigations and Intelligence Department regarding the police document that was prepared in 2014 and which summarizes criminal and intelligence information on Knesset members who served at the time. During the meeting I noted the sensitivity (of the matter) and the problematic situation that was created due to the fact that the existence of such a document had been leaked, because it allegedly casts a cloud over all Knesset members, and creates a feeling in the public as if dozens of Knesset members are suspected of criminal acts.”

“I also stressed the importance of publishing an official clarification as soon as possible, to the public and the Knesset members, regarding the list from 2014 and its relevancy, as much as it remains relevant today, so that on the one hand the public will be able to rest assured that Israel Police is doing its job faithfully and is investigating Knesset members when necessary, while on the other hand Knesset members will be certain that police are not holding information against them which could be revealed at some point down the line and hurt their work or chances of obtaining a certain position,” the letter reads.

“In response to my comments, the police commissioner said they were aware of the sensitivity (of the matter) and the harm caused to Knesset members and the Knesset by the reports, and that the list had been submitted for your examination so that an official clarification regarding this list could be released soon,” Speaker Edelstein told Mandelblit.

Edelstein stressed the urgency of concluding the examination and releasing the clarification “in order to minimize the damage caused by the continued reports about the list and by leaving them in the public and media environment without a clarification or official statement from the authorized elements.”

Meanwhile, Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh appeared before the Knesset’s Internal Affairs Committee on Wednesday and justified the document. “It was drafted so that it wouldn’t turn out later that there was something we should have reported to the State Prosecutor and Attorney General and for some reason it got stuck and did not surface [to be reviewed by] a person with authority.”

Israel’s Channel 10 News revealed last month the existence of a document nicknamed “The Yitzhaki Report” that was compiled under order of the head of the police investigations unit Maj. Gen. Meni (Menachem) Yitzhaki.

During the Knesset committee meeting, Yitzhaki told the Internal Affairs Committee that the document was written in order to comply with the attorney general`s guidelines.

Committee Chairman MK David Amsalem (Likud) said: “The head of Investigations and Intelligence Branch has power by virtue of his position. Power corrupts, and great power corrupts more. Therefore, he must act with caution.”

“I read that 80 percent of police officers use internal information for their own personal needs. It is obvious that there is information being used by people who do not have the authority to do so,” MK Amsalem added. “Something terrible is happening here. Is the information only on Knesset members? Perhaps there is information about the commissioner? Maybe there are summaries on major generals in the police force? Or on judges and journalists? I don’t think Yitzhaki acted maliciously, but there is always potential for wrongful use.”


FBI Backs Down, Hillary Clinton Not Charged on Personal Server Use at State Dept.

Tuesday, July 5th, 2016

FBI Director James B. Comey told reporters on Tuesday (July 5) he would not advise the Justice Department to file criminal charges against Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton over her use of personal servers for all emails during her tenure at the U.S. State Dept.

“No reasonable prosecutor would bring such a case,” he said, explaining that in order to file criminal charges, the agency needed to prove deliberate intent to send and receive classified and/or secret information on a personal server.

However, he said, “There was evidence that [she and others with whom she communicated] were extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive and classified information,” Comey told reporters at a news conference in Washington DC.

Clinton clearly put national security at risk, he acknowledged. Any regular government official could have faced administration penalties for the same actions, he said.

Over the past year, the agency scrutinized 30,000 emails, checked numerous servers and spoke with dozens of aides and other staff members. Of the emails that were examined over the past year, 110 emails in 52 chains contained classified information; 36 chains were determined to contain “Secret” information. Nine chains contained “Top Secret” information and eight chains contained “Classified information. Thousands of emails were not turned over to the authorities.

But that’s not all: At least 34,000 emails were destroyed by Clinton and her attorneys, who reportedly made the decision on which ones who permanently destroy by sorting them using keywords and scanning with subject lines, Fox News reported.

The former Secretary of State was questioned three days ago by the FBI, just after her husband and former President Bill Clinton hopped aboard a plane on the tarmac before Justice Department Attorney General Loretta Lynch could disembark. The two chatted for about 30 minutes “allegedly “only” about their grandchildren, and former colleagues,” Lynch said later when asked by reporters.

But the whiff of other issues was unmistakable, and Hillary Clinton’s session with the FBI followed soon after, after a year of resistance and very involved, dragged out scrutiny into how and where her long-lost emails had gone missing. Lynch subsequently said she would most likely stand by the FBI’s recommendations regarding any indictment following the investigation into Clinton’s use of her personal server.

Some of those emails were destroyed by Clinton’s own attorneys, who reportedly made the decision on which ones to ditch by sorting with keywords and scanning the subject lines, according to a report broadcast on Fox News.

When considering the standard regulations, at the very least the State Department should revoke Hillary Clinton’s Top Secret security clearance at this point, given the concrete evidence uncovered thus far. But “should” does not seem to apply in this campaign, let alone in the legal sphere when it comes to Hillary Clinton, according to former U.S. District Attorney and New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani.

The investigation was focused on whether or not Clinton violated 18 U.S.C. Section 793 of the Espionage Act — which Comey contends that she did not, due to lack of “intent.”

But Giuliani disagreed in an interview on Fox News Tuesday afternoon, pointing out that provision (f) in the code is very specific, defining “extreme carelessness” as “gross negligence.” That, he said, is a felony under the law — which means that Hillary Clinton broke the law. Repeatedly:

Whoever, being entrusted with or having lawful possession or control of any document. . .relating to the national defense, (1) through gross negligence permits the same to be removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of his trust, or to be lost, stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, or (2) having knowledge that the same has been illegally removed from its proper place of custody or delivered to anyone in violation of its trust, or lost, or stolen, abstracted, or destroyed, and fails to make prompt report of such loss, theft, abstraction, or destruction to his superior officer, Shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than ten years, or both.

Hana Levi Julian

Printed from: http://www.jewishpress.com/news/breaking-news/fbi-backs-down-hillary-clinton-not-charged-on-personal-server-use-at-state-dept/2016/07/05/

Scan this QR code to visit this page online: