Police question Olmert
Police questioned Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert last Friday for 90 minutes under caution that he may face charges. The interrogation was leaked to the media before it took place. It’s not clear what it concerned. Olmert has been questioned in recent years about a number of alleged crimes, including steering government contracts to friends and making illegal patronage appointments. None of the investigations have resulted in charges. The secretive nature of the questioning, the news that Olmert had been given just 48 hours warning, and the fact that the interrogation was “under caution” led to speculation police may be close to breaking one of the cases. Olmert must step down if he is indicted.
Inquiry clears troops
An army inquiry cleared Israeli troops in the killing of a family of five in the Gaza Strip. A blast on April 28 killed a Palestinian mother and her four children while they were preparing to eat breakfast in their home in Beit Hanoun. Palestinians blamed an Israeli missile strike. An army inquiry concluded an air-launched missile had hit its target, four gunmen who had been targeting Israeli troops, and that the missile hit no other targets. The gunmen were carrying backpacks loaded with weaponry, and the army theorized the family might have been killed in a blast caused when the missile hit a gunman’s weaponry, or that the mother and her children were knocked down by the force of the second blast, or hit by debris.
PM meets Jordanian king
Ehud Olmert held unannounced talks on the Israeli-Palestinian peace process with Jordan’s King Abdullah.
The Israeli prime minister flew to Jordan last Wednesday to meet Abdullah, a key patron of efforts to bolster Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas.The Israeli media quoted Abdullah as urging Olmert to ensure that his talks with Abbas lead to an accord on Palestinian statehood before U.S. President George W. Bush leaves office at year’s end.
Schalit captor killed
An air strike killed a Palestinian terrorist who was involved in the abduction of Gilad Schalit. Nafez Mansour, a Hamas militiaman, was killed in the Gazan town of Rafah. Military officials said Mansour was involved in Schalit’s abduction on the Gaza border in June 2006. Hamas vowed to avenge Mansour’s killing, which came as Egypt tried to broker a ceasefire between Israel and armed Palestinian factions in Gaza. But Hamas stopped short of threatening the life of Schalit, who it wants to trade for hundreds of Palestinians held in Israeli jails.
Record number of tourists
The Passover holiday brought more than one million visitors to Jerusalem. This was a record number for the past 20 years.