JERUSALEM (JTA) — Israeli Interior Minister Silvan Shalom announced he is resigning from the Knesset amid allegations of sexual misconduct.
Shalom made the announcement on Sunday evening. At least six women have come forward in the last week to accuse him of sexual assault or of forcing himself on them. The allegations first came to light last week in a report in the Israeli daily Haaretz.
“I am weary of the suffering that has been parceled out to my family, my wife, my children and my elderly mother,” Silvan said in a statement Sunday. “My family fully supports me, but there is no justification for the price demanded of them. For these reasons I have decided to quit my position as a minister and Knesset member.”
Shalom has maintained his innocence.
Israeli news media reported later on Sunday that Attorney General Yehuda Weinstein has ordered police to open a criminal investigation intothe women’s complaints.