Moshe Katsav (C) was last year convicted on two counts of rape and other sexual assault charges [AFP]

Moshe Katsav, Israel's former president, has been sentenced to seven years in jail for rape, Israeli media reported.

The judges also handed the former leader a two-year suspended sentence and ordered him to pay a fine of 100,000 shekels ($28,000).

The sentence was approved by two of the three judges at Tel Aviv district court on Tuesday, which was presided over by Judge George Kara.

Katsav was convicted in December of rape, sexual harassment, indecent acts and obstruction of justice following a four-year scandal that shocked the Jewish state.

He had denied charges he twice raped an aide when he was a cabinet minister in the late 1990s, and molested or sexually harassed two other women who worked for him during his 2000-2007 term as president.

As Katsav arrived at the court, hundreds of journalists packed around the entrance to catch a glimpse of the disgraced president.

The prosecution had called for a lengthy jail term, highlighting the serious nature of the crimes, the damage inflicted on the victims and the shame he brought on the presidential office.

However, his lawyers asked that he be spared prison time, and urged the three judges to take into account the media campaign against him, his public humiliation and inability to rehabilitate his reputation with "the mark of Cain forever etched on his forehead."

The maximum sentence for rape is 16 years behind bars.

Source: Agencies