Portuguese / Spanish / English

Israel probes corruption, sexual harassment scandals in Morocco consulate

Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaks during a press briefing at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, on April 24, 2022 [DEBBIE HILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]
Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid speaks during a press briefing at the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem, on April 24, 2022 [DEBBIE HILL/POOL/AFP via Getty Images]

Israel's Foreign Ministry has started an investigation into corruption, sexual harassment and financial improprieties in the consulate in Morocco, local media reported yesterday.

The scandals included charges that a senior Israeli official sexually exploited several local women.

Ministry Inspector General Hagay Behar flew to Morocco last week after the scandals were revealed, the Times of Israel said, noting that the corruption scandals were directly linked to head of the Israeli mission, David Govrin.

The most serious complaint was that "a senior Israeli official" at the mission had sexually exploited several local women, which could lead to a severe diplomatic incident with Morocco.

READ: Algeria calls for 'direct negotiations' between Morocco, Polisario

According to the Times of Israel, the Foreign Ministry is also investigating a range of financial and administrative problems, including the disappearance of a very valuable gift sent by the king of Morocco on the occasion of Israel's Independence Day.

Meanwhile, the ministry is investigating reports that a local businessman and Jewish community leader, identified as Samy Cohen, a friend of Govrin, was involved in hosting several Israeli ministers.

The ministers hosted by Cohen included current Prime Minister Yair Lapid, when he was foreign minister, Ayelet Shaked and Gideon Sa'ar, and initiating meetings between them and local officials, even though he did not have an official position.

A dispute between Govrin and the mission's security officer is also being investigated, the Israeli daily said.

Morocco became the fourth Arab state to normalise ties with Israel under US-brokered 'Abraham Accords' in 2020, joining the United Arab Emirates, Bahrain and Sudan.

Govrin, 58, is considered a senior and experienced diplomat and has served at the ministry since 1989. He speaks fluent Arabic, and served as the ambassador to Egypt from 2016 to August 2020.

Categories
AfricaEgyptIsraelMiddle EastMoroccoNewsUAE
Show Comments
The JNF/KKL A Charity Complicit With Ethnic Cleansing book launch
Show Comments