PMO Lodges Complaint Against Top Defense Official for Criticizing Olmert on Shalit Deal

Amos Gilad blasted PM's handling of ongoing negotiations with Egypt over prisoner swap, Gaza truce.

The Prime Minister's Office lodged a formal complaint on Sunday to Civil Service Commissioner Shmuel Hollander demanding disciplinary action against Amos Gilad, the chief of the Defense Ministry's political-security branch, for comments he made in an interview last week against Prime Minister Ehud Olmert.

PMO director-general Ra'anan Dinur, who filed the complaint, wrote that the remarks published in Maariv reflect inappropriate criticism by a senior government official against a sitting prime minister and his office.

Gilad criticized Olmert's handling of ongoing negotiations with Egypt, particularly conditioning a cease-fire with Hamas on the release of captive Israel Defense Forces soldier Gilad Shalit.

Dinur wrote that after the interview's publication, Gilad admitted to Olmert that he had in fact been the official quoted.

Gilad's remarks, he wrote, "seem to represent a disciplinary violation, as they direct inappropriate criticism against the prime minister, including leaks from private discussions and the disclosure of Israeli positions in sensitive negotiations with Egypt."

Dinur called the remarks "embarrassing and significantly harmful, and reflect behavior unsuited to Gilad's position as a prime ministerial envoy."

The letter of complaint, which was also sent to Defense Minister Ehud Barak, said, "Gilad's statements as expressed in the letter are particularly serious, and seem to harm Israel's foreign relations and the status of the prime minister."

"In light of this, I ask you to immediately order a disciplinary investigation on the Amos Gilad case, and that inasmuch as disciplinary violations are found, to take binding measures," it said.

Last Wednesday Olmert met with Barak and Gilad in his office and harshly reprimanded both - Barak for allowing his ministry to allow leaks of sensitive security-related information, and Gilad for the "chutzpah and vulgarity" of his remarks.