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Zaka founder Yehuda Meshi-Zahav accused of multiple cases of rape, sexual abuse

Haaretz is reporting claims by six people that Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, a co-founder and chairman of the Zaka volunteer emergency response group, sexually assaulted, raped and abused them. The paper claims there are likely many more.

The allegations are made by both men and women. One says Meshi-Zahav forcibly undressed her and raped her after offering financial aid. Another says Meshi-Zahav repeatedly abused him when he was a teen.

The report says several other women have testified that he masturbated in front of them and touched them sexually.

Meshi-Zahav denies the allegations, telling the paper the claims “are baseless” and will cause “irrevocable damage” to his good name.

Earlier this month, Meshi-Zahav was declared a winner of the Israel Prize’s lifetime achievement award for his contributions to Israeli society.

Yehuda Meshi-Zahav, chairman of the ZAKA emergency response organization, on February 4, 2010. (Yaakov Naumi/Flash90)
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