Rafik Halabi

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Rafik Halabi, a Druze citizen of Israel, is (2004) a journalist. He lives in Daliat al-Carmel.

He studied Hebrew literature and Jewish philosophy at Hebrew University and covered the West Bank for Israel Television for 8 years from 1974. He had kept his job in spite of efforts by General Ariel Sharon and other Likud politicians to censor his reports. Those efforts began to succeed after the Begin government appointed Yosef Lapid a reactionary columnist from the daily Ma'ariv to direct the Broadcasting Service in 1979. By 1982, Halabi expected he would be stopped from reporting on the West Bank and would have to resign.

By the late 1990s, Halabi was news director for Channel 1 television in Israel. He resisted pressure from the Likud party, which sought to prevent broadcast of the 1997 documentary, 'The Road to Rabin Square' (a controversial production studying the writing on the wall which preceded the Rabin assasination).

On 1 November 1999, Ha'aretz reported that

The news director of Channel One television, Rafik Halabi, and the former leader of Shas, Aryeh Deri, were questioned by police fraud investigators for over 10 hours yesterday on suspicion of breach of trust.

Halabi is suspected of providing assistance to the Shas party in the production of campaign videos in 1992 and 1996, while Deri is being questioned about his involvement in the appointment of Halabi to head the TV news.

The police investigation was initiated on the recommendation of Attorney General Elyakim Rubinstein, after he reviewed the findings of an internal investigation conducted at the Israel Broadcasting Authority (IBA) by retired police official Zion Sasson. (Sasson is now himself a suspect in the Nimrodi-Pridan bribery case and is due to be released today.)

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