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Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Gil Sheffer, Netanyahu’s bureau chief quits

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s bureau chief resigned and will leave his position at the end of the summer, becoming the second top aide to leave the premier’s side in the last two weeks.

The departure was reportedly agreed on with the prime minister, and Gil Sheffer denied his resignation had anything to do with a sexual harassment claim against him from last year.
Sheffer was named as bureau chief in February 2012 when he replaced Nathan Eshel, who was forced to quite amid a harassment investigation.

According to Channel 2, Sheffer also faced an accusation from a woman who claimed at the beginning of the year that he sexually harassed her in an incident 15 years ago.

According to the report, Sheffer denied the claims and passed a polygraph test — as did his accuser. The case was eventually closed and Sheffer was deemed fit to hold public office.

In a statement to Ynet news, Sheffer said “there was no connection between the departure and these claims.”

The Prime Minister’s Bureau also said the resignation was unrelated to the allegations.

At the end of last month Maariv reported that National Security Adviser Yaakov Amidror Maariv will leave his post in August after a falling out with Netanyahu and the premier’s office.

Amidror’s term in office had been scheduled to end in November 2013, the date Israel’s general elections were originally slated to be held (before being advanced to January).

Since joining Netanyahu’s staff over two years ago, Amidror has functioned both as head of the National Security Council and as one of the prime minister’s top advisers.

Amidror led the talks with the US ahead of the Palestinians’ turn to the UN last year, and was the point man for talks between Washington and Jerusalem regarding Iran’s nuclear program. In addition, the former intelligence officer has played a key role during Israel’s reconciliation talks with Turkey.

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