Former member of the Knesset claims ‘Shimon Peres sexually assaulted me’

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Former member of the Knesset claims ‘Shimon Peres sexually assaulted me’

Colette Avital says she was summoned to the former politician's office in 1984 and 'he pressed me against the door suddenly and tried to kiss me'

Colette Avital
Colette Avital

A former member of the Knesset has alleged that the late president Shimon Peres sexually assaulted her twice in the 1980s, including one time when he was prime minister.

Colette Avital told Haaretz newspaper that she was summoned to Peres’s office, while he was serving as prime minister in 1984. The pair discussed jobs she could hold in his administration after her return as a diplomat in Paris.

As she got up to leave, Avital told the paper, “He pressed me against the door suddenly and tried to kiss me.” She said she pushed him away and left the room, “and my legs were shaking when I left there, it repulsed me”. The former MK, who worked closely with Peres for many years afterwards, said that for two years after the incident she avoided seeing him. She also alleged that Peres had sexually assaulted her several years before in Paris, where she served as a senior diplomat.

Asked why she worked with Peres again, she said: “I didn’t imagine he would try again. During that time I admired him, in terms of thinking, talent, and his creativity. For me, he was the model of an open and thoughtful Israeli statesman.”

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