Israeli journalist accuses former PM Olmert of sexual assault

Israeli journalist accuses former PM Ehud Olmert of sexual assault
2 min read
19 November, 2017
An Israeli journalist says disgraced former Israeli PM Ehud Olmert made unwanted sexual advances on her in a television studio.
Ehud Olmert [C] was released from Israeli prison in June [Getty]

An Israeli journalist claimed on Saturday that former Israeli Prime Minister Ehud Olmert sexually assaulted her in a television studio several years ago.

Speaking on a panel in the central Israeli city of Ness Ziona, Army Radio's Hadas Shtaif said that she was "pinned to the wall" by Olmert when he was invited to Israel Public Television's studios for an interview.

"He pinned me to the wall and whispered in my ear with his disgusting tongue," said Shtaif. "I pushed him off me right away."

Olmert has denied Shtaif's claims, saying that he had never even come within "one meter" of the journalist.

Writing later on Twitter, Shtaif said: "it's all true, I spoke [about this event] in real time to many people. I was disgusted and did not forget."

The journalist also claimed that her sister stopped her from filing a complaint about the former premier after the event.

"We are in the middle of a revolution," Shtaif wrote, "for our girls and boys, granddaughters and grandchildren." 

Disgraced former prime minister Olmert was released from prison in June after being jailed for 16 months for a number of corruption convictions, including fraud, bribery and obstruction of justice.

During his time as prime minister, the 72-year-old was also accused of war crimes by human rights groups, and is remembered for military miscalculations and excesses in dealing with Israel's neighbours.

In 2006, Olmert led Israel to war against Hizballah in Lebanon, leading to the deaths of more than 1,200 Lebanese civilians and 160 Israelis, mostly soldiers.

The military operation was considered a political and military failure in Israel.

In 2008, he then launched Operation Cast Lead on the Gaza Strip, a 22-day military offensive which killed over 1,400 Palestinians and devastated the coastal enclave.