MK Ben-Eliezer to Quit Politics

November 25, 2014  

MK Binyamin (Fuad) Ben-Eliezer (Labor) will resign from the Knesset and retire from public life soon, the Maariv Hashavua newspaper reported on Tuesday.

“Ben-Eliezer has been serving the State of Israel more than 60 years, 30 years of which were in senior positions in the army as a fighter and commander all the way to the Coordinator of Government Activities in the Territories,” Ben-Eliezer’s office said.

“He served in a variety of public positions, such as defense minister during Operation Defensive Shield, and contributed greatly to the State of Israel and to Israeli society and economy. MK Ben-Eliezer does not intend to continue his public activities and will decide on the timing of his retirement in the near future.”

Ben-Eliezer, who has served as an MK since 1984, is currently the subject of an investigation on suspicion of receiving illegal funds and has been questioned several times on this issue.

He is reportedly suspected of having received large sums of money from several benefactors, including from wealthy businessman Avraham Nanikashvili, who was recently questioned in connection with another case related to corruption at the Ashdod Port.

Since the investigation was launched, Ben-Eliezer has not attended the Knesset on a regular basis, and has only been attending some discussions at the Knesset’s Foreign Affairs and Defense Committee.

Last year, Ben-Eliezer ran for the position of President, but dropped out of the race several days before the vote due to the corruption investigation.

He was previously involved in some controversy, when an investigative television report revealed that he had frequented “exclusive and discreet” casinos in London and did so up until 2002, when he was serving as a top government minister.

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