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Israel Parliament Suspends Immunity from Ex-deputy Health Minister

The Knesset, Israel’s Parliament, decided to suspend the parliamentary immunity of former Deputy Health Minister Yitzhak Raphael, who will now stand trial on charges of soliciting and accepting a bribe in connection with the building of a hospital.

Mr. Raphael, who had himself sought the lifting of the immunity in order to clear himself of the charges, sharply criticized the Attorney General, who, he said, was being guided by “extraneous considerations,” since the charges were “completely refuted by police investigation.”

The National Religious Party, Agudat Israel and Poale Agudat Israel abstained on the vote on lifting Raphael’s immunity. Justice Minister Dov Joseph decried Raphael’s attack on the Attorney General and on Judge Moshe Gaulan, who headed the committee appointed by Premier Eshkol, the report of which implicated Raphael.