President Shimon Peres says that it is too early to address the question of clemency for former president Moshe Katzav, but hinted a pardon was unlikely.
Katzav is filing an appeal, pending the start of his sentence, after having been convicted of rape and obstruction of justice.
However, in an interview with the daily Yisrael Hayom, Peres said, "I take a hard line on people who hurt women, especially sexually."
Peres noted no request for a pardon had been received from Katzav so he could not comment, but would deal with the question when the time came.
Peres, currently touring Viet Nam, also told the newspaper he is in favor of releasing tax receipts to the Palestinian Authority that were frozen by the government, following the PA's acceptance as a full member by UNESCO.
The Netanyahu government has said PA officials must adopt a Quartet for Middle East Peace proposal for renewed negotiations before tax receipts will be released.
Several ministers, however, expressed outrage over Thursday's solidarity meeting between PA chairman Mahmoud Abbas and Hamas chief Khaled Mashaal in Cairo.
Abbas and Mashaal said there were “no longer any differences” between their movements.
Hamas rejects all discourse with Israel.