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E-cigarettes being used against corruption in Israel
It would appear that influencing Israel’s Health Ministry is possible, if you can afford it. Such is the revelation of a recent police investigation, the result of a yearlong undercover operation carried out by the national crimes unit Lahav 433. The news channel Hadashot broke the story, proof of under-the-table business practices in Israel.
The primary suspect in the case is none other than Yaakov Litzman, former Israeli Minister of Health. Litzman spoke to an uncover journalist on the condition of receiving large sums of money.
Israeli Health Ministry not open to everyone
The journalist posed as the CEO of a fictional e-cigarette business, and gained access to the Health Ministry with envelopes containing thousands of shekels.
Although the Health Ministry is supposed to act independently of lobbyists, this investigation revealed that anyone can access to the ministry, for the right price.
Litzman isn’t the only one accused in the case. Motti Babchick, a senior assistant, made contact with the former minister, but also with the current minister, Itamar Grotto, possible.
The investigation reveals that such practices are commonplace within the Israeli Health Ministry. Indeed, the investigative journalist’s fictional e-cigarette business is not the only one that was able to contact Litzman. Other businesses and associations have also been mentioned in the investigation revealed by Hadashot.
In spite of the charges, Litzman maintains his innocence. Speaking to the TV channel, he insisted that “he would be willing to meet anyone who wanted to meet him,” although he did not mention the payouts associated with such visits. Investigators are not satisfied, however, and continue to find new evidence against the Israeli Minister of Health.
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