Former candidate for nat’l security advisor suspected of corruption

Avriel Bar-Yosef, who served as deputy head of Israel's National Security Council (NSC), was detained on Tuesday by the Israel Police and interrogated for 14 hours before being released, and remains under investigation. He is suspected of receiving bribes, money laundering, fraud and breach of trust while serving as a member of a government committee examining Israel's policy on the natural gas market. A female suspect was also detained. Investigators are looking into whether Bar-Yosef advanced the interests of private businessmen from Germany in exchange for funds and other benefits to him or to members of his family, and whether he attempted to influence committees that dealt with Israel's natural gas infrastructure. After his discharge from the IDF at the rank of brigadier general, Bar-Yosef served as head of the Knesset's foreign affairs and defense committee, head of the Knesset's defense budget committee, deputy head of the NSC and chairman of the port of Haifa. The NSC, established in 1999, is responsible for planning the government's policy on national security affairs. Its work is classified. The post of head of the council has been vacant since Yossi Cohen, who served as national security advisor from 2013 to 2015, stepped down to become head of the Mossad. Bar-Yosef had been Prime Minister Benyamin Netanyahu's candidate to succeed Cohen.

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