Report: PM Netanyahu Being Investigated Over Gifts From 2nd Billionaire

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. (Reuters/Gali Tibbon/Pool)

Investigations on the activities of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu are still ongoing, and over the weekend it was revealed that yet another billionaire was questioned over gifts he allegedly gave Netanyahu. According to a Channel Two report, police have questioned U.K.-based businessman Haim (Foyo) Zeveldovitz over unspecified gifts Netanyahu allegedly received from him. In return for the gifts, Zeveldovitz allegedly received a “benefit,” also unspecified. His name has been mentioned in the past in connection with other investigations, including the funding of trips for Netanyahu and his wife, but none of the suspicions panned out.

Zeveldovitz is a major shareholder in El Al, and is part owner of the Daniel hotel chain, with locations in Herzliya and on the Dead Sea. He has been involved in business deals in Israel for decades, and is also a well-known art collector. He is the son of Shlomo Zeveldovitz, who established the Soltam housewares brand.

In a statement, a spokesperson for Zeveldovitz said that he was asked to come in and speak to police and did so voluntarily. The statement stressed that he is not involved in the case and has not been charged with anything, and that police thanked him for his testimony.

The investigation of Zeveldovitz is the second involving gifts by ultra-rich friends of Netanyahu. Also being investigated is Arnon Milchan, an Israeli-American businessman who investigators believe provided Netanyahu with expensive cigars over many years. According to the report, Netanyahu smokes cigars valued at between NIS 15,000 and NIS 20,000 per month. Each cigar Milchan gave to Netanyahu is said to be worth NIS 100. He is also accused of providing Netanyahu with champagne, with each bottle worth between NIS 300 and 400.

Commenting on the new report Sunday, Netanyahu’s office said that there was “nothing to it. This is another phony attempt to raise public interest in these media reports which so far have not led anywhere. We once again emphasize – nothing happened, and all investigations will yield that same result. There is nothing, because there was nothing,” the statement added.