Father Gabriel Naddaf and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in August 2013..
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Father Gabriel Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox priest and campaigner for Christian IDF enlistment, said on Tuesday that he is innocent of the allegations of sexual harassment and indecent assault made against him in recent days.
Last week Channel 2 reported an investigation into the priest, including audio interviews with men and women with whom Naddaf had interacted, who accused him of making sexual references and allusions in conversations with them, as well as in Facebook messages in which Naddaf allegedly made similar such inappropriate remarks.
Two days later, a sexual harassment charge was filed against the priest by a discharged Christian IDF soldier.
On Friday, a second complainant filed charges of indecent assault against Naddaf.
Speaking to Army Radio on Tuesday, Naddaf said that opposition to his efforts to promote enlistment to the IDF among the Christian Arab community are behind the allegations against him.
“Since I began on this path, the historic path of IDF enlistment among the Christian community, my family and I have been subject to terrible threats,” said the priest. “There are people working day and night to slander my name...there are people who want to harm me and my goal.”
The priest also claimed that the individual who filed a complaint of sexual harassment against him last week had withdrawn the complaint.
The complainant’s attorney told The Jerusalem Post
that this was not true, however, and that the complaint is still standing.
The priest also claimed that he had filed complaints in the past to the police that his Facebook page had been sabotaged by people who had been expelled from the Forum for Christian Enlistment, saying that in the past he had not personally managed his Facebook page.
Naddaf said his family backs him and that he has also received “messages of support from both the Jewish and Christian community, people who believe in our path and know that there are terrible conspiracies here.”