Interior Minister Silvan Shalom (Likud) is retiring from politics, associates confirmed on Sunday, following a week in which several women alleged that he had sexually harassed them.
Despite the resignation, Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein said on Sunday that he would open an examination of the evidence.
Following further accusations against Shalom that emerged on Saturday, a meeting was held on Sunday evening between the state prosecutor and the head of Israel Police's Investigations and Intelligence Division and their staffs.
Following the discussion in the attorney general's office, Weinstein decided to heed the state prosecutor's advice to tell police to reopen the prior investigation of Shalom.
"For about 23 years, I have served the public as an MK and as a minister in various offices with dedication and faith," said Shalom on Sunday. "I did this out of a feeling of having a mission and a desire to advance social and public issues of the utmost importance. During this past week, I had enough of the torturous path on which I am walking and am forced to once again escort my children, wife and elderly mother. My family supports me fully, but there is no justification for the price demanded of them. In these circumstances, I decided to resign from my role as a minister and Member of Knesset."
R., one of Shalom's accusers, said on Sunday that the harassment had occurred about three years ago. "I met with him for a work meeting that we had scheduled beforehand," she said. "The meeting dealt with all kinds of issues, and over its course we had some friendly conversations, about different topics, and then at some point Silvan started telling me that he had thought about me for years and had intimate thoughts about me and would like to meet me outside of work hours."