Sharon's Son Is Sentenced to 9 Months in Jail
By STEVEN ERLANGER
JERUSALEM, Feb. 14 — Omri Sharon, a former member of the Israeli Parliament and the elder son of the prime minister, was sentenced Tuesday to nine months in jail after he pleaded guilty to illegally raising more than $1.3 million for one of his father's political campaigns.
But because his father, Ariel Sharon, is comatose after a major stroke, a Tel Aviv court allowed Omri Sharon to delay the start of his jail term until at least Aug. 31. He was also sentenced to nine months of probation, to begin after he leaves jail, and fined $66,700.
In November, Omri Sharon, 41, entered a guilty plea to charges of falsifying corporate documents, perjury and violating party financing laws during a campaign in 1999 for the leadership of the Likud Party. Under a plea agreement, prosecutors dropped charges of fraud and breach of trust but demanded imprisonment on the other counts. He resigned his seat in Parliament in January. His father was not implicated in the case.
Mr. Sharon's lawyer, Navit Negev, said he would appeal the sentence.
As the reality of a Hamas-controlled government in Palestinian areas drew closer, the Israeli defense minister, Shaul Mofaz, went to Egypt, where he met with President Hosni Mubarak. Mr. Mofaz said there was "no way the state of Israel will speak with Hamas" until it met the conditions of Israel and the international community: to recognize Israel's permanent right to exist, to disavow violence and to accept previous agreements.
Mr. Mofaz told Israel radio that Mr. Mubarak "will exert all efforts to convince Hamas to accept" the necessary conditions and says "that he believes that Hamas will change its ways in the future."
On Tuesday evening, the acting prime minister, Ehud Olmert, told American Jewish leaders that Israel "won't negotiate and won't compromise" with Hamas so long as it remained committed to Israel's destruction.
Mr. Olmert and his government have said they will consider the Palestinian Authority to be run by Hamas when the new legislature is sworn in on Saturday and will stop transferring some $50 million a month in customs duties and taxes.
Palestinian leaders met Tuesday with the German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, asking him and the international community to continue to finance the Palestinian Authority despite Hamas's recent victory in legislative elections.
"Aid to the Palestinian people should continue, whatever party is going to form the government," said the departing Palestinian foreign minister, Nasser al-Kidwa.
Saeb Erekat, a Palestinian negotiator, called for the "democratic choice of the Palestinian people to be respected." "Aid from Germany, the European Union and other donor countries must continue to finance infrastructure projects in all fields," Mr. Erekat said in a statement.
The European Union is the source of cash income for the Palestinian Authority, which is deeply in debt and receives about $1 billion a year in foreign aid of various kinds.
But Mr. Steinmeier said it would be difficult for Germany to provide aid to a Palestinian government that did not meet international conditions. "The German position does not differ from the European position," he said, explaining that until a Hamas government took power, Brussels would continue financing the Palestinians.
International aid organizations issued an appeal for governments to continue financing the Palestinians despite the victory of Hamas. Some 30 organizations, including Oxfam and Doctors of the World, said in a statement that the local Palestinian population needed support.