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‘It was not a day of work. It was a day of abuse,’ ex-cleaner testifies against Sara Netanyahu

A woman who is suing the prime minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, for alleged abuse in the workplace when she was employed as a cleaner at the Prime Minister’s Residence has taken the stand in court for the first time and is facing a cross-examination from a defense attorney who accused her of lying.

Shira Raban, then a 24-year-old ultra-Orthodox mother of three, worked as a cleaner at the Netanyahu official residence for a month in 2017. She filed her lawsuit shortly after leaving her position, claiming NIS 225,000 ($64,000) in damages. Raban has alleged that the prime minister’s wife insulted her relentlessly throughout her short tenure.

Raban is giving testimony at the Jerusalem District Labor Court, where she repeated claims she made in an affidavit of the unacceptable conditions she was forced to endure by Netanyahu.

“On the first day I was in shock,” she says. “The conduct in the residence is unusual. It was important for Mrs. Netanyahu on the first day to show me the ropes. That I would understand the rules of the second floor and that I made sure to wash my hands before and after each thing I did.”

“It’s not a day’s work, it’s a day of abuse,” she said of the work conditions allegedly imposed on her. “It harms the body from the first second.”

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