Shin Bet Urges Removal of Israeli Arab Worker From Olmert's Gym

Shin Bet advises gym owner to transfer 20-year-old to different workplace due to 'security sensitivities.'

The Shin Bet has requested that an Israeli Arab man working as part of the cleaning staff in former prime minister Ehud Olmert's gym be transferred from the premises to a different workplace due to security sensitivities, Haaretz learned on Sunday.

The man, 20, a resident of Kfar Kassem, was employed by the Tel Aviv gym for several months before the Shin Bet preformed background checks on the employees in the compound and advised the owner to transfer him to a workplace with less "security sensitivity," gym owner Dror Paz told Haaretz.

The reason for the request, according to the Shin Bet, was based on the fact that one of the man's relatives was sentenced to jail in the past over security related offenses. The lack of a security guard at the entrance to the gym was also mentioned as a reason for the request, despite 24-hour security surveillance at the entrance to the residential building.

As former prime minister, Olmert has 24-hour security surveillance and the Shin Bet often perform background checks on staff working in his vicinity.

"The worker in question has been working for us over the last few months, he is an Israeli citizen with a blue ID card, and has all the credentials to work in any institution in Israel," Paz told Haaretz.

"I don't believe this is about a specific problem with this particular employee, because if that was the case he would have been removed from his job a lot sooner," Paz added.

Olmert's associates said "we know nothing on the topic, and you need to ask the Shin Bet for information."

The Shin Bet said in response that "according to our security guidelines, and in light of relevant security information in the Shin Bet's possession, the worker's employer was advised to transfer him to a different work place."