Second Doctor Held in Bribery Ring

A second doctor has been arrested in connection with the extortion ring that obtained exemptions from army service for Israelis in exchange for bribes.

The Petach Tikva Magistrates Court on Wednesday ordered Dr. Gideon Bialistok of Tel Aviv held in custody for eight days. He is a plastic surgeon and ear, nose and throat specialist.

The court on Tuesday ordered Dr. Yosef Blatt, an orthopedic surgeon, held in custody. Blatt’s private clinic now bears a sign saying “Clinic Closed Until After the Holidays. Happy New Year — Dr. Blatt.”

The doctors allegedly provided false medical reports that enabled Israeli citizens to obtain exemptions from either reserve or regular army service, both of which are mandatory in Israel.

The civil police are now investigating a small number of private citizens who served as intermediaries between the several hundred reservists or inductees alleged to have given bribes and army officials who accepted them.

Meanwhile, military police are continuing to investigate Israel Defense Force personnel who may have been involved in the extortion ring. One of the senior army officers implicated is a brigadier general, according to unconfirmed reports Wednesday.

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