The left-wing Meretz party announced on Tuesday that a senior party member is suspected of having sexually assaulted a child earlier this year and has been suspended from all his roles within the organization.
In a Facebook post, the party said it wanted to quash false and “ugly rumors” that party officials were paying visits to the suspect, who is under house arrest, to comfort him. It said a court-mandated gag order prevented any discussion of the details but that it wanted followers to know that Meretz party Chairwoman Zehava Galon took immediate action to have the member removed from the party as soon as the suspicions surfaced.
Meretz said the official was suspended from all roles within the party when the allegations surfaced six months ago. A police investigation is ongoing. According to the post, the official is suspected of having raped the 13-year-old daughter of friends.
“There is no place in Meretz for persons suspected of such grave, disturbing crimes. Period. Meretz has a proven track record of fighting sex crimes,” the party said in the post, adding that swirling rumors that party officials were comforting the suspect were categorically false.