Netanyahu Spokesman Accused of Sexual Assault to Resign After Official Probe Closed

The Civil Service Commission stated that the allegations against David Keyes took place before he joined public service and are thus not under its jurisdiction. Times of Israel reported that one of the accusations against him took place after he had assumed his position

Noa Landau
Noa Landau
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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, escorted by his spokesman David Keyes, left, arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, March 11, 2018.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, escorted by his spokesman David Keyes, left, arrives for the weekly cabinet meeting at his office in Jerusalem, March 11, 2018.Credit: AP/Oded Balilty
Noa Landau
Noa Landau

Israel's Civil Service Commission is closing the probe into allegations of sexual harassment by David Keyes, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's spokesman, the Israel Television News Company reported Wednesday.

The commission said that the cases they examined took place before Keyes joined public service.

Times of Israel published a testimony of a woman who said Keyes acted aggressively toward her after he assumed his position.

The commission also justified its decision on the basis that no criminal charges have been filed against Keyes, who is currently on "voluntary leave" and who is expected to officially resign with the conclusion of the probe.

The commission started examining the case in September, and said then that if the incidents described in testimonies against the spokesman occurred while he lived in the U.S. and predated his service, "these matters are not within the jurisdiction of the Civil Service Commission and it is correct that they be clarified in the United States and in accordance with the laws that apply there.”

Twelve women accuse Netanyahu spokesman of sexual misbehavior.Credit: Haaretz

Fourteen women came forth against Keyes. He denied the allegations and had said he plans to fight to clear his name.

The commission also decided that there no disciplinary action will be taken against Israel's ambassador to the U.S. Ron Dermer, who knew about the complaints against Keyes but failed to report them to the Prime Minister's Office.

This does not mean that Netanyahu was unaware of the complaints. One of the allegations was published several years ago and Netanyahu did not act upon it then.

The Prime Minister's Office said in response that they have yet to receive the Commission's decision.

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