A bribe is a payment paid covertly to an official so he will act in a manner contrary to the purposes of his position. Granting a bribe, accepting a bribe and intermediary for bribery are corruption actions handled as criminal offenses pursuant to the Israeli Penal Law.


A bribe is a type of benefit usually given to a public and political official, in order for him to recruit his position in favor of the person offering the bribe and conditioned on being provided with a benefit of some type or another. The bribery offense does not take place only on the political-public level and may be seen also within the business world in public companies traded on the stock exchange, commercial corporations and large cooperatives.


The bottom line is that such are funds both to the person offering the bribe as well as to the person accepting the bribe usually in the form of bills or property. This conduct is considered to be an offense even in situations where accepting the bribe or giving the bribe had not been completed. Meaning, also an attempt to give a bribe is considered a criminal offense.

Risks and punishment

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In order to establish bribery offense it is required that at least three of the foundations hold true:

  1. Accepting or giving a bribe to a civil servant
  2. Accepting the bribe – anything consisting a benefit
  3. For an action – there is a causal link between the bribe and the position, meaning, it is required that the bribe be related to the civil servant’s position, motivated or affected by the position. The bribe is related to the recipient’s position – also other actions made in connection with the position so long as there is an affinity to the fact that the recipient of the bribe serves in any office.

Accepting a bribe, and especially by any public figure, is a most severe offense, bearing heavy penalties.


A civil servant accepting a bribe in return for an action related to his position, faces the penalty of up to 10 years’ imprisonment or a fine that is one of the following, emphasizing the higher of such:


1) Five times the fine set forth under law, and should such be committed by a corporation – ten times the fine.

2) Four times the value of the benefit he had obtained or intended to obtain through the offense.


The penalties for a bribery attempt: In cases where there bribery offer had not been accepted, such will be deemed an attempt to pay a bribe and the person offering the bribe will be treated in the same manner as a person giving a bribe – 7 years’ imprisonment.


Prohibition of an attempt of mediation for accepting a bribe: Under the law, also one who attempts to obtain cash, cash equivalents, services or other benefit in order to pay a bribe – is treated as if he had accepted a bribe, meaning 10 years’ imprisonment.


Why is it recommended to be assisted by a law firm in the case of an offense of bribery?

The bribery offense is an offense with many blurred boundaries. Even should there be prima facie evidence, it does not mean that a bribery offense exists in the criminal aspect. Investigation of such and the ability to prove such are usually complex and extremely difficult. Therefore, in such a case it is proper and recommended that the person suspected of a bribery offense is treated meticulously by a criminal defense attorney experienced in the white collar offenses domain. If you have been summoned for criminal questioning or charged with an offense of obtaining by fraud, immediately seek consultation by a criminal defense attorney specializing in bribery offenses.

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