Israel Rabat envoy 'reinstated despite sexual abuse allegations'
Israeli ex-envoy to Morocco and sexual assault suspect David Govrin has announced his comeback to Rabat to resume his duties despite an ongoing investigation.
"If you can't speak the truth, don't clap for falsehood. I am very happy to return to my second country, dear Morocco, to complete my noble tasks that seek to strengthen and value the ties between the two countries," tweeted David Govrin, former head of the Israeli liaison office in Rabat, on Sunday.
Govrin, who served as Tel Aviv ambassador to Cairo from 2016 to 2020, was appointed as the head of Israel's liaison office after its inauguration in August 2021.
Last September, Tel Aviv summoned Govrin to Israel over allegations of severe irregularities, including alleged sexual harassment, allegedly exploiting local women, alegedly not reporting gifts and allegedly being part of severe workplace disputes.
Israeli foreign ministry opened an investigation against Govrin after the widespread leaked reports of alleged sexual assault against Moroccan women working at the liaison office in Rabat.
At the time, dozens of activists took to the streets urging the Moroccan government to open an investigation against the Israeli envoy and cut off ties with Tel Aviv.
*إن لم تستطع قول الحق فلا تصفق للباطل*.— Dr. David Govrin (@DavidGovrin) July 9, 2023
أنا جد سعيد بالعودة إلى بلدي الثاني المغرب الغالي لإتمام مهامي النبيلة التي تسعى لتقوية وتثمين الروابط بين الدولتين 🇲🇦🇮🇱 pic.twitter.com/NXgp6jwmfX
To date, Rabat has refrained from commenting on the scandal.
Tel Aviv has yet to release the results of the investigation.
For the past months, Govrin was replaced by Shai Cohen, who previously held the position of Consul General in Ankara.
On Saturday, Cohen announced the end of his duties in Rabat. "Relations between Morocco and Israel are very recent, and contributing to their formation and development was for me a great challenge," added Cohen in a tweet.
Moroccan Association for Human Rights (AMDH) has threatened to launch an open sit-in before the Public Prosecution if Govrin resumed his duties.
"In principle, we are against any relations with Israel, and we will follow up on the issue of rape and harassment, even if we are forced to enter into an open sit-in before the Public Prosecution Office until it follows it up, and the judiciary must bear its responsibility," Aziz Ghali, head of the AMDH, said during a press point held in Rabat last month.
AMDH has filed a complaint against Govrin, but "we were told that he had left Morocco, but now if he returns, an investigation must be opened," he added.
Govrin is likely to enjoy diplomatic immunity against protection in the kingdom.
Rabat has yet to confirm Govrin's return.
On 23 December, Morocco and Israel are set to celebrate three years of normalisation, during which the two states signed several trade and military memorandums despite the rising anti-normalisation opposition in the Moroccan streets.