(photo credit: GPO)
Former National Security Council deputy head, Avriel Bar-Yosef is under house arrest on suspicion of conspiring with a German businessman to promote personal business interests.
Bar-Yosef, 61, who in February was selected by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to lead the NSC but withdrew his candidacy in June saying he preferred to work in the private sector, was detained and questioned on Tuesday, along with another suspect after which they were released to house arrest. Bar-Yosef’s name was under gag-order until Thursday, while the other suspect’s name remains so.
According to multiple Hebrew media reports Bar-Yosef, who was a key figure in forming Israel’s policy regarding the offshore Tamar and Leviathan gas reserves, did not report a conflict of interest with a German businessman who had a vested interests in the gas reserves. Reportedly, Bar-Yosef pushed for a multi-billion-dollar facility that would benefit his alleged German contacts.
Bar-Yosef served as deputy head of the National Security Council from 2009 to 2015, and before that was director of the Knesset’s Defense and Foreign Affairs Committee. He is a retired brigadier-general, who served 25 years in the IDF, with his last position being head of naval operations– equipment. He withdrew his candidacy to head the NSC after Ometz, an organization promoting good government, sent a letter to the attorney-general and head of the Civil Services Commission claiming it had information indicating conflicts of interest.
A Channel 10 report on Wednesday alleged that Netanyahu’s personal lawyer and relative, David Shimron, has pushed for the purchase of three German submarines. It is unclear if there is any connection between the allegations against Bar-Yosef and the report on Shimron.