In the latest in a string of such incidents, a senior police officer was interrogated overnight Monday on suspicion that he had sexually harassed a female subordinate in a hotel lobby.
After hours of questioning by the Police Investigations Unit, the officer — a commander from the northern region — was suspended from his job for two weeks as police continue to investigate the matter.
The officer is also suspected of breach of trust for trying to take advantage of a female volunteer after she asked for his help in a personal matter. The suspect allegedly agreed to help but suggested that the two meet in a hotel lobby for more privacy. When they eventually met at the hotel the officer allegedly made sexual advances as well as trying to touch and kiss the woman, who rejected his advances outright. Media reports suggested the victim may have recorded the encounter after becoming suspicious over the venue proposed by the officer.
Israel Radio reported Tuesday that another officer was due to be questioned by the Police Investigations Unit on suspicion that he had committed sex offenses against a female officer. The nature of the allegations were not elaborated in the report.
The developments came less than two weeks after the commander of the coastal district, Deputy Commissioner Hagai Dotan, became the seventh top police officer to face allegations of sexual harassment in 18 months, in a series of scandals that have plunged the Israeli police force into crisis.
A week earlier, Deputy Commissioner Nissim Mor, once a contender for Israel Police commissioner, was accused of sexually harassing and assaulting a policewoman, as well as carrying on inappropriate relationships with other female subordinates.
Earlier in January, Judea and Samaria District Commander Kobi Cohen announced his resignation after admitting to an improper relationship with a subordinate officer.
During a press conference at the end of January, Police Commissioner Yohanan Danino said that the recent string of misconduct scandals have damaged the public’s trust and that the Israel Police needed a “root canal.”