On Sunday, the Justice Ministry announced that Netanyahu's bureau chief Natan Eshel, who was accused of harassing a female staffer, will leave his post by March 1 after signing a plea bargain under which he will admit to charges of "misconduct."
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The prime minister has reportedly lost confidence in the senior officials who made the complaints against Eshel. "I am disappointed that you did not share this with me, that you hid this for a month," he told them in closed doors. "I cannot learn about something so major in my chambers from the media. You should have come to me first and I would have done the same as you and turned to the attorney general immediately," he said. "
The senior officials tried to convince Netanyahu that they did not report the matter to him as they were trying not to hurt him. He replied that he does not believe that. Channel 2 reporter Udi Segal reported Tuesday that Hendel announced his resignation following this exchange.
In a statement released on Sunday, following the announcement of Eshel's deal, Netanyahu praised his bureau chief and avoided mentioning the three senior officials.
Opposition Chairwoman Tzipi Livni said in response: "Netanyahu's conduct in relation to this affair points to a defective system of values. Instead of praising those who defended the victim – those who did the right thing are paying with their jobs. Netanyahu's message to women subjected to harassment is 'keep quiet.'"
According to a plea bargain agreed between Eshel's attorneys and Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein, Eshel will admit to charges of damaging civil service discipline and conduct unbecoming a civil servant.
Under the agreement, Eshel will not seek another position within the civil service and admit he took "inappropriate" photos of the woman - known only as 'R' - and accessed her computer without her knowledge.
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