The sexual harassment allegations against Jerusalem police head Asst.-Ch. Nisso
Shaham continued to increase in severity on Sunday, as the media widely reported
that at least five policewomen filed complaints against
Widely-quoted sources said that the five harassment complaints
are “just the tip of the iceberg” and called his sexual harassment “systematic”
in the police force. The Justice Ministry’s Police Investigations Department
slammed the reports, calling them “not only inaccurate but completely wrong” and
accused the media of fabricating quotes from the investigation. A
ministry statement said the high-level unit will maintain its silence to protect
the integrity of the investigation.
On Thursday, the investigations
department announced it had conducted a months-long undercover probe against
Shaham and suspected him of sexual harassment, indecent assault and improper
sexual relations. Shaham went on forced leave pending the completion of the
A Justice Ministry spokesman confirmed on Sunday that more
than one policewoman filed complaints over Shaham’s conduct, but would not
elaborate on any other aspect of the investigation.
The probe is further
complicated by the fact that Shaham’s wife, career policewoman Dep.-Ch. Varda
Shaham, was previously the number two person in the investigations
department. She retired from the unit 10 years ago, though a Justice
Ministry spokeswoman said the personal connection would in no way influence the
Dep.-Ch. Nissim Edri, the head of the Zion precinct, was
also placed on administrative leave on Thursday due to the suspicion that he was
aware of Shaham’s actions and did not take appropriate action as required by
On Thursday, police Insp.- Gen. Yohanan Danio appointed Manny
Yitzhaki to the position of temporary police chief of the Jerusalem district.
Yitzhaki was formerly Shaham’s deputy, until he left about a week ago to oversee
the special police investigative unit Lahav 443. Shaham did not appoint a new
deputy in the interim.
Danino briefly referred to the investigation on
Friday by stating that “the Israel Police will not compromise on the values that
are at the base of the organization.
“One law for the police officer and
the commander – all are equal before the law.”
Yaakov Lappin contributed
to this report.