Last updated: 31 August, 2011

Nepalese woman who accused Israel PM’s wife fired

A Nepalese migrant worker who levelled the latest in a string of abuse allegations against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s wife Sarah has been fired, Israeli media reported on Wednesday.

Tara Kumari, who was employed at the premier’s residence to help look after his ailing father-in-law Shmuel Ben Artzi, was sacked for “repeated negligence” in his care, the media said, citing Netanyahu’s office.

In a series of interviews she gave to Israeli media on Wednesday, Kumari said that Sarah Netanyahu had accused her of extorting money from her father, an accusation she categorically denied.

She said that during one blazing row with her employer three weeks ago, she had fallen and injured her finger.

She charged that Sarah Netanyahu was in the the habit of “shouting abuse at me and refusing to provide me with the meals or days off to which I was entitled.”

“Sarah Netanyahu also threatened to send me back to my country,” she added.

In a statement released on Tuesday, the prime minister’s office denied there had been the “slightest physical contact” between Netanyahu’s wife and Kumari.

Sarah Netanyahu has faced repeated accusations in the Israeli press of abusing her domestic staff and leading an extravagant lifestyle at the expense of her husband’s business donors.

Earlier this year, she gave an impassioned interview to Channel Two television, pleading for a halt to the media criticism which she said was really aimed at her husband.

“Again I stand before the public as a target. Again, they hurt the prime minister through me,” she said.

“This is evil gossip, which becomes a sort of permanent ritual of hypocrisy and sanctimoniousness. Enough. Enough already. This has to stop.”