Israeli Arab Teens Say They Were Sexually Harassed by Christian Leader Honored by State

Author: Staff
Date Published: 05/09/2016
Publication: Haaretz

A prominent Christian leader in Israel, soon to be honored by Israel for his work to encourage Christian Arab youths enlist into the army, is suspected of sexually harassment, a television report claimed Sunday evening.

Father Gabriel Naddaf, who is slated to light a beacon at the Independence Day opening ceremony Wednesday night, allegedly sexually harassed teenage boys and solicited favors to use his influence with senior members of the defense establishment, a report broadcast Sunday night on Channel 2 said.

In response, the police said they have begun a preliminary investigation into the claims.

Naddaf, a Greek Orthodox leader, is known for his public campaign to get Christian Arab youths to enlist in the Israel Defense Forces, and is considered very close to senior defense officials.

Naddaf denied the allegations, telling reporters: “They are trying to put together an evil plot against me, my wife and two children. I haven’t hurt a soul, nor did I take advantage of my position to gain privileges from anyone. I shall light the torch on Independence Day.”