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Israel recalls Morocco envoy amid sexual misconduct allegations

Moroccan demostrators lift banners against the normalisation of ties with Israel at a protest in Rabat on September 9, 2022   -  
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FADEL SENNA/AFP or licensors

Israel

Israel has recalled its top envoy to Morocco amid an internal investigation, a diplomatic source told AFP Thursday, amid media reports that it was tied to allegations of sexual misconduct.

Israeli public broadcaster Kan reported Monday that a foreign ministry delegation had been dispatched to Rabat, following sexual abuse allegations against envoy David Govrin.

An Israeli diplomatic source confirmed to AFP that Govrin had been recalled while an investigation gets underway, without detailing the nature of the probe.

According to Israeli media, the envoy is facing allegations of exploiting Moroccan women, sexual harassment and indecent exposure.

There are also claims of embezzlement and the apparent disappearance of a gift from the Moroccan monarch to celebrate Israel's Independence Day.

Israel's foreign ministry did not comment when contacted by AFP about the probe.

Govrin, 59, served as Israel's envoy to Cairo before being appointed ambassador to Rabat last year.

Morocco in 2020 followed the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain in formalizing ties with Israel.

The US-backed deal saw Washington recognize Moroccan sovereignty over the disputed Western Sahara territory.

The renewal of bilateral ties has seen a flurry of diplomatic visits between the two nations.