Why did Halutz sell his shares hours after soldiers were kidnapped? Embarrassment is prevailing in the Israel Defense Forces after reports on Tuesday that Chief of Staff Lit.-Gen. Dan Halutz sold market shares on July 12, the day Hizbullah kidnapped two soldiers in a cross-border attack.
Sources close to Halutz confirmed the reports to Ynet. "The chief of staff manages his family's financial affairs in a current manner like any Israeli citizen," an official statement read.
"The chief of staff is working day and night to defend the citizens of Israel and digging into his personal affairs is not appropriate," read the statement. The report was first published in the Maariv daily.
The stock exchange market witnessed falls on the first three days of fighting and many shareholders sold their shares.
Israeli officers were amazed by the reports Tuesday morning, with some saying the news is embarrassing.
"The chief of staff is not a private man and everything he does, even away from the public eye, has an impact on the whole country. I don't want to judge but the atmosphere is really not good," an officer said.
Is it illegal?
Halutz' business activities on July 12 do not contravene banking securities.
Banking securities forbids individuals or companies from using "internal information", unknown to the general public, in handling market shares.
Allegedly, there is a certain similarity between what Halutz did and the use of internal information, since Halutz knew things that the public didn't.
The Israel Securities Authority said Halutz' business deals on July 12 were legal, adding that the internal information law applies to information within companies and not state institutions.
Tani Goldstein and Eli Shimoni contributed to this report