22.01.2004 HAARETZ 1. SHARON TO BE INVESTIGATED AGAIN SOON; [ACTING ATTORNEY GENERAL/STATE PROSECUTOR EDNA] ARBEL BELIEVES THAT THERE IS ENOUGH EVIDENCE TO INDICT HIM. Decision – in consultation with next Attorney General. Arises from indictment against Appel: PM knew about Greek island. Appel promised Sharon a lot of money for Gilad in exchange for help. In response to opposition demand, Sharon clarifies: I will not resign. Possible that Olmert will also be indicted upon completion of investigation. High chance that criminal intent will be attributed to Gilad Sharon.
2. Year after the elections: Dialogue poll exclusive for Haaretz. TWO-THIRDS OF PUBLIC: IF SHARON IS PROVEN TO HAVE BEEN INVOLVED IN AFFAIR, HE MUST RESIGN. Poll under supervision of Prof. Kamil Fuchs: Approximately 75% give government failing grade. If elections were held today, Shinui would receive 19 mandates. 3. IDF: LAUNCHING OF ANTI-TANK ROCKET – LOCAL INITIATIVE UNCOORDINATED WITH SYRIA. HATZOFEH 1. Likud perplexed but starting to organize for succession war; opposition demands that Sharon resign. POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE. Thus political establishment refers to facts that arise from amended indictment against David Appel. Appel told Sharon explicitly that his son could expect to receive bribe from Greek island deal. Olmert, when he was Mayor of Jerusalem, hosted Mayor of Athens in order to persuade him to declare island to be tourist site and thus promote Appels project. In exchange, he was promised financing in Likud elections. [Acting Attorney General/State Prosecutor Edna] Arbel believes that evidence justifies indicting Sharon. Opposition calls on PM to issue his version. [Justice Minister Joseph] Lapid: They will have to resign only if they are indicted. 2. ROCKET ASSAULT AGAINST GUSH KATIF. 3. 270,000 ISRAELIS EMIGRATED FROM ISRAEL IN 1990S. MAARIV 1. Maariv poll: 53% think that Sharon was involved in bribery. 63% want Sharon to resign if it is proven that he broke the law. SHARON: RELAX, I AM NOT RESIGNING. Will PM be tried over Greek island affair? State Prosecutor believes so, however police officials oppose: Not enough evidence. Sharon confidants: Must put an end to this. Either indict him or close file. 2. President of Iran to Maariv: WE WANT PEACE IN REGION. Khatami responded to questions from Maariv correspondent Menachem Gantz in Davos yesterday. YEDIOT AHRONOT 1. SHARON: I WILL NOT RESIGN. I will be PM next year too, Sharon declares. Claimed in indictment against Appel: PM knew that his son would receive a lot of money from Appel. Increasing calls in political establishment for Sharon to quit. 2. Yediot Ahronot poll carried out last night by Mina Tzemach and Dahaf Institute. 49%: PM MUST EITHER RESIGN OR SUSPEND HIMSELF. 38%: Sharon must carry on. 24% believe: PM will be compelled to resign. 3. Expose: ILANS DIARY SURVIVED CRASH. Indian tracker from Texas found personal diary with Israeli astronauts last written words – according to film to be broadcast on Channel 2. ______________________________ SUMMARY OF EDITORIALS FROM THE HEBREW PRESS Both papers refer to the indictment against construction magnate David Appel in which it is alleged that he bribed Prime Minister Ariel Sharon: Yediot Ahronot suggests that, Yesterday, like today and tomorrow, the Prime Minister – and especially his confidants and aides — will try to pretend that its business as usual, but adds that, There is no reason to believe them. The editors decry – what they allege to be – the corruption in the Likud and say that the affair reflects badly on the Likuds approach to governance, whether or not Appel is found guilty. The paper believes that even if Prime Minister Sharon is not indicted, The details which will now flow to the media from the investigations, evidence and indictments will shine a harsh light on him: If he didnt know what was going on in his home s guestroom, how can we rely on his judgment? Hatzofeh asserts that, The indictment against Appel is – in practical terms – a severe indictment against Prime Minister Ariel Sharon, and adds that, If the Prime Minister rejected the proffered bribe, whether directly or indirectly, the State Prosecutors Office must clarify this and remove the stain from a serving prime minister. The editors urge the opposition not to get too excited just yet and remind their readers that Israel has known several cases in which high-ranking public figures were accused of corruption only to be completely acquitted. The paper recalls that, Prime ministers have taken steps in various fields in order to distract public opinion from their personal problems, and adds that, While Sharon is not suspected of this, it is important to be beyond reproach. To this end, the editors aver that, In times of such security, economic and social tension, a clear word must be stated on whether or not the Prime Minister may continue in office or whether he should appoint a temporary replacement until the picture becomes clearer. __________ Yediot Ahronot, in its second editorial, calls on the government to ascertain whether Syrian President Bashar Assad is at all serious in his professed desire to resume peace negotiations with Israel.