Police Oppose Prosecuting Disgraced ex-Israeli Interior Minister Over Harassment Allegations

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Silvan Shalom, who announced his resignation as interior minister on Sunday, Dec. 20, 2015.
Silvan Shalom announced his resignation as interior minister on Dec. 20 following the allegations.Credit: AFP

The Israel Police is expected soon to recommend to the state prosecutor not to file formal charges against Silvan Shalom, the disgraced former Likud minister, for sexual harassment. Several women have made allegations through the media in recent months, but none have come forward with a formal police complaint.

Police investigators who tried to interview several women who used to work with Shalom say their testimonies are similar and indicate serial behavior on Shalom’s part. However, they have failed to get any of the women to file a formal complaint, which would justify a full investigation.

The police also contacted journalists to enlist their help by putting them in touch with Shalom’s alleged victims. According to one senior police officer, Shalom’s decision to retire from political life probably reinforced the feeling among the women that a trial would take years while putting them in the media limelight.

Haaretz published a report in December about a former female employee of Shalom who accused him of repeated harassment, touching intimate parts of her body against her will. The former employee said that Shalom touched intimate parts of her body many times, although she pushed him away and clearly resisted him. She also described instances when they were sitting together in the back seat of a car and Shalom tried to insert his fingers into her underwear and touch her sexual organs, but she was dressed in a manner that prevented him from doing so.

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