Israel bans cell phones at cabinet meetings

Wednesday, August 22, 2007 |  by Staff Writer

The Israeli government on Tuesday informed its ministers that they can no longer bring their cell phones or other personal communication devices to cabinet meetings.

The decision was made as part of an ongoing effort to curb leaks to the media regarding sensitive issues, reported Israel's Yediot Ahronot daily newspaper.

Prime Minister Ehud Olmert's office said the recommendation to ban cell phones from cabinet meetings was first made by the Winograd Commission investigating the government's handling of last summer's war in Lebanon. A number of topics discussed and decisions made during the war reached the media even before the soldiers executing the battle plans in Lebanon learned of them.

As part of the new initiative, the government has also told ministers to not bring all of their aides to cabinet meetings.

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