Gershon Mesika
Gershon MesikaMiriam Alster/Flash 90

The head of the Samaria Regional Council Gershon Mesika was released to house arrest Thursday, eight days after his arrest last week in the large-scale police investigation of corruption centering on Deputy Interior Minister Faina Kirshenbaum (Yisrael Beytenu).

He was released to ten-days' house arrest in his home in Elon Moreh. In addition, he is forbidden from leaving Israel for a 90-day period. He may not enter the Samaria Regional Council for 30 days, and may not enter the offices of the Company for Development of Samaria for 60 days.

Mesika issued a message to Samaria residents upon his release from police custody. After thanking the residents for their support, he noted that the investigators told the court that he is not suspected of taking any money into his own pocket.

"As always,” he added, “I operated – in the matters that are currently being looked into – for the good of the residents of Samaria, and in this case, I did all I could for saving the Company for Development of Samaria, which was facing collapse following the debts and misdeeds of my predecessors.”

He said that on his way home, he spoke with Avner Shapira, whose 11-year-old daughter Ayala was critically wounded in a firebomb attack last week – and promised him that he would make every effort to visit Ayala in the hospital soon.

Mesika is suspected of offenses including giving bribes and fraud.