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Netanyahu’s former chief of staff arrested on arrival in Israel

Ari Harow was questioned by police as part of an investigation into Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu looks on as he opens the weekly cabinet meeting (AFP)

Benjamin Netanyahu’s former chief of staff was detained for questioning at Tel Aviv’s Ben Gurion airport on Thursday morning, as part of an ongoing fraud investigation involving the Israeli prime minister.

Ari Harow was arrested after landing in Tel Aviv and was taken for interrogation by the Israeli police fraud squad Lahav 433, according to local news site Walla.

Police said Harow was not being questioned under caution.

Harow resigned from Netanyahu’s office in January 2015 so he could work on the Israeli prime minister’s re-election campaign.

He was previously questioned on suspicion of fraud in December 2015 – during this time he was put under house arrest for five days.

Harow is one of a number of Netanyahu’s associates who have been questioned recently, and it comes after Israel’s Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced an investigation into Netanyahu.

Israel’s Channel 2 reported that the investigation into Netanyahu involves the transfer of “large sums” of money to either the prime minister himself or his family members.

Israeli police are also investigating Netanyahu on three other counts of alleged financial corruption.

Netanyahu is accused of accruing illicit funds for foreign travel, he is alleged to have misused state funds for food and entertainment, and he allegedly received a large amount of money for political campaigning from French billionaire Arnaud Mimran.

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