search

Comptroller looking into undue influence by ex-Shas minister

Ariel Atias allegedly used power in Housing Ministry to give preferential treatment to ultra-Orthodox

Aaron Kalman is a former writer and breaking news editor for the Times of Israel

Ariel Atias, former minister of Housing and Construction, lays out the plans for the new ultra-Orthodox city of Harish in northern Israel in August  2012. (Oren Nahshon/Flash90)
Ariel Atias, former minister of Housing and Construction, lays out the plans for the new ultra-Orthodox city of Harish in northern Israel in August 2012. (Oren Nahshon/Flash90)

A State Comptroller report was said to be looking into suspicions that former Housing minister Ariel Atias (Shas) used undue influence to help the ultra-Orthodox community in building projects throughout the country, Channel 10 News reported Sunday.

According to a report by State Comptroller Yosef Shapira, Atias used his power to influence decisions by Israel’s land authority to advance particular requests by haredi individuals and groups, the report said, citing yet-to-be-published documents.

Shapira’s paper reviewed over 50 cases in 2011 alone, the report said.

In one of the incidents, Atias pressured the Israel Land Administration into marketing a 3,000-apartment housing project in Lod exclusively to members of the ultra-Orthodox public, providing them with tax incentives originally designed to bring people from the working middle-class to the city.

A similar case in Petah Tikva saw the former minister alter a project so that it would benefit people from Orthodox backgrounds, as opposed to those from secular ones.

read more:
comments
Never miss breaking news on Israel
Get notifications to stay updated
You're subscribed