Former Netanyahu Bureau Chief Ari Harow Questioned for Fraud

Another official at the office is being questioned for allegedly helping to promote the interests of her husband, who represents Sheldon Adelson's newspaper.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu / Former chief of staff Ari Harow
Reuters, Marc Salem

Ari Harow, a former senior official at the Prime Minister's Bureau, was questioned under caution by the police on Monday on suspicion of breach of trust and fraud. The allegations pertain to Harow's time as Prime Minister Netanyahu's bureau chief. According to suspicions, he acted in conflict of interest when dealings with a company he once owned, as well as in other matters. 

According to the police, after he was questioned Harow was placed on a five-day house arrest.

In October, Perah Lerner, Netayahu's adviser on Knesset affairs, was questioned on suspicion of fraud, breach of trust and other charges. The police's investigative unit began looking into Lerner amid suspicions she used her position to benefit her husband, Avi Lerner, a public relations executive who represents Sheldon Adelson's Yisrael Hayom newspaper, considered supportive of Netanyahu.

As part of his responsibilities as head of Netanyahu's bureau, Harow was also in charge of Lerner. Harow has close personal ties with Lerner and her husband, who has the Gush Etzion settlement bloc and Jerusalem Mayor Nir Barakt among his clients.

Harow, who was born in the U.S., quit his senior position during the last election to work for Netanyahu's campaign, but resumed the post after the elections, only to leave it again a few months later.

In early November, the police searched the Lerners' home and confiscated computers and files. The couple were questioned and released with a warning not to contact anyone involved in the investigation. Lerner was then suspended for four months by the Civil Service Commission's disciplinary committee.