U.S. and Israel Reach a Deal on Inquiry into Dotan Scandal

Israel and the United States reportedly have reached an understanding on Washington’s demand that American officials be allowed to interview former Israeli air force Brig. Gen. Rami Dotan about a bribery scandal involving U.S. defense contractors.

For close to two years, Israel has refused U.S. requests to interview Dotan, who was imprisoned last year for skimming millions of dollars in U.S. military aid to Israel. He is serving a 13-year term.

The previous Likud administration refused to allow his questioning by U.S. officials, for fear he might divulge state secrets.

News reports said the Pentagon and the Justice Department had been urging Israel be declared in default of its aid and loan agreements because of its refusal to allow access to Dotan.

But a statement issued by the Israeli Embassy in Washington said that two days of discussions between the two governments last week were “constructive” and “produced a joint framework for further cooperation” in the investigation of the Dotan affair.

State Attorney Dorit Beinish headed the three-member Israeli team at the talks. Details of the agreement were not announced.

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