Adelson's Israel Hayom Daily to Pay $14,000 in Gantz Libel Case

The free newspaper did not admit to printing false information, but agreed that future coverage would be 'fair, proper and legal'

Benny Gantz speaks at a conference in Jerusalem, November 24, 2019.
Olivier Fitoussi

The free daily newspaper owned by U.S. billionaire Sheldon Adelson, Israel Hayom, is to pay 50,000 shekels ($14,411) to two charitable causes chosen by Kahol Lavan chairman Benny Gantz to settle a libel suit Gantz had filed earlier this year.

Under the agreement submitted Sunday to the Tel Aviv Magistrate’s Court, the newspaper does not admit to having printed false information about Gantz, but it will pay 25,000 shekels to the family of Elazar and Rafael Ohana, who were killed Saturday in a Netanya fire, and 25,000 shekels to the Olim Beyahad organization, which helps Jewish Ethiopian immigrants integrate into Israeli society.

In February Benny Gantz filed suit against the paper, claiming it had defamed him in a series of articles regarding allegations made against him by Nava Jacobs. Close to the first election in April, Israel Hayom published pieces claiming he had allegedly sexually harassed Jacobs many years ago.

The lawsuit, filed by attorneys Boaz Ben Tzur, Carmel Ben Tzur and Guy Raveh, argued that Israel Hayom had published a series of tendentious articles and that the newspaper, “Acted with clear journalistic negligence, without making the most basic minimal checks and with clear bad will.”

Under the compromise, Israel Hayom promised that its reports on Gantz, “Would be fair, proper and legal.”