Gila Gamliel
Gila Gamlielצילום: אסתי דזיובוב/TPS

Environmental Protection Minister Gila Gamliel (Likud) may face a criminal investigation, and potentially prosecution, over her violations of lockdown restrictions, and her apparent attempts to cover up the violations.

Police announced Tuesday that they have transferred files from their preliminary probe into the matter to the office of Israel’s Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit.

The police department has recommended that a formal investigation be opened against Gamliel.

Before a criminal investigation can be launched against a sitting government minister, however, authorities must gain the approval of the Attorney General.

On Monday, a report by Haaretz claimed that traveled to Tiberias for the Yom Kippur holiday, violating the one-kilometer limit on travel from one’s home for anything other than ‘essential needs’. Tiberias is 157 kilometers (95 miles) northeast of Gamliel’s home in Tel Aviv.

Gamliel and her husband reportedly stayed in Tiberias for the holiday, and visited Gamliel’s in-laws – a second violation of the lockdown restrictions.

In addition, the report found that Gamliel had prayed at a synagogue during Yom Kippur.

Nearly a dozen worshippers present at the time have since tested positive for the virus.

Gamliel later admitted that she had indeed visited a synagogue in Tiberias,

Sources close to Prime Minsiter Binyamin Netanyahu told Channel 12 Monday that Gamliel insists that she did not lie, and that the Haaretz report is not entirely accurate.

The Channel 12 report also cited officials close to Minister Gamliel who claimed that while the minister’s legal address is in north Tel Aviv, she and her husband have resided at their Tiberias property since the imposition of the lockdown.