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Israeli parliamentarian resigns over sexual harassment claims

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A rightwing Israeli politician has resigned from the country’s parliament after a series of allegations of sexual harassment, the party announced today.

Yinon Magal, from the religious and nationalist Jewish Home party, will step down after a number of women accused him of inappropriate comments and actions while in his former role as a journalist.

Party leader and Education Minister Naftali Bennett said he accepted Magal’s resignation, calling it the “right” decision that would to enable him to “devote himself to his family”.

A former colleague of Magal’s at the Israeli news website Walla wrote last week that he made a series of inappropriate comments, including allegedly encouraging her to dress like a librarian in a porn film.

Another woman later claimed he stroked her behind despite being asked not to, prompting Israeli police to announce they would look into the claims.

Fresh allegations emerged shortly before Magal’s resignation today, bringing the number of accusers to four.

Magal will be replaced by the next member of the party’s parliamentary list, with Avi Wortzman — former deputy minister of education and a Bennett ally — to get the role.

Jewish Home forms part of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s governing coalition, but Magal’s resignation was not seen as having any effect.

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