JERUSALEM, Dec. 21 (UPI) -- Israeli Interior Minister Silvan Shalom, the subject of sexual harassment allegations from several women, has resigned from Parliament.
Shalom, 57, said the allegations are false but he is stepping down to relieve his family of any more suffering. He is a leading member of the right-wing Likud party.
"Some 23 years I have served the public dutifully and with belief as a [Member of the Knesset] and a minister in various offices out of a feeling I was fulfilling a mission and a desire to advance important social and public goals," Shalom said in a statement.
He is also leaving his position as deputy prime minister. He will likely be replaced in the Knesset by Amir Ohana, who will be the first openly gay Likud member of Parliament.
Israeli legislators and officials have recently been the subject of high-profile sexual conflicts. Maj. Gen. Roni Ritman of the Israeli police anti-fraud agency was accused several days ago of sexual harassment of a female police officer; another Knesset member, Yinon Magal, resigned in November over sexual harassment accusations; and former Israeli President Moshe Katsav began a seven-year jail sentence in 2011 after a rape conviction.