The winners are expected to be formally announced in the next few days.
Weitz joined Haaretz in 2006 after having served as an investigative reporter at other papers, and currently heads Haaretz’s investigative reporting staff. Inter alia, he published a report showing how former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, in his previous role as industry minister, intervened in decisions by the ministry’s Investments Center to help clients of a close friend, attorney Uri Messer; Olmert was ultimately prosecuted and convicted for this.
Weitz also published an investigation into Austrian tycoon Martin Schlaff and his ties with Israeli politicians; an interview with former Judge Dan Cohen, who fled to Peru to escape bribery charges; and numerous other reports on the ties between business and government in Israel.
Harel, who has worked at Haaretz since 1992, is currently its defense analyst. He has engaged in a critical examination of the defense establishment, publishing in-depth articles on various defense-related issues, including the defense budget. Over the past year, he has published a series of articles on the Israel Defense Forces’ conduct during last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in the Gaza Strip.
The Sokolow Prize, which is awarded by the Tel Aviv municipality, is the most prestigious media prize in Israel. It is named after Nahum Sokolow, a Zionist leader and pioneer of Hebrew journalism. The winners will receive 18,000 shekels ($4,750).