Netanyahu and Ban
Photo: Moshe Milner, GPO
Natan Eshel
Photo: Tal Shahar
Netanyahu keeping mum on harassment affair
Prime minister says he has taken vow of silence in relation to harassment allegations involving his bureau chief Natan Eshel

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is refusing to comment on the alleged harassment involving his bureau chief Natan Eshel, who has taken a 10-day leave of absence. "I have taken a vow of silence on this matter until the check is completed," he said at a press conference Wednesday after meeting UN chief Ban Ki-moon.


It has been claimed that Eshel harassed a female worker in the prime minister's bureau and reportedly also sexually harassed her.


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Earlier this week, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein decided to continue to pursue the investigation at the Civil Service Commission and not turn it over to criminal investigators. Asked about the affair, Netanyahu said: "We just have to wait patiently until the examination is completed. It's the right and humane thing to do at this point."


נתניהו מארח את מזכ"ל האו"ם בלשכתו בירושלים (צילום: EPA)

Netanyahu and Ban Ki-moon (Photo: EPA)


The prime minister was more forthcoming in discussing Tuesday's Likud primaries in which he beat Moshe Feiglin. "Judging by the results, the Likud has made a substantial shift. In the last election I got around 70% and now it's 76%. This is a sign that a large chunk of people at the Likud support our way of leading."


UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon stressed after his meeting with President Shimon Peres that Tehran must prove to the international community that their nuclear program is genuinely for peaceful purposes. He said he was deeply worried about the IAEA report which points to the possibility of an Iranian military nuclear program.


Addressing the peace process, Ban told both Peres and Netanyahu that settlements are not conducive to the peace process. Netanyahu replied that the settlement issue must be part of peace talks and the peace accord, and cannot be a precondition.


Attila Somfalvi contributed to the report




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