Israeli PM Netanyahu Faces Charges of Breach of Trust, Bribery and Fraud
Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu faces three serious criminal charges in what could be a major blow to his political career.
Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit on Thursday indicted the sitting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on three charges: bribery, breach of trust and fraud.
According to Yedeout Ahronot English-language online Israeli newspaper, the three charges are called 1000, 2000 and 4000, in which the attorney general clearly charges Netanyahu with misuse of power for personal gains. The charges constitute a severe blow to Netanyahu and are the first of their type in the country’s history.
The three cases were published in full by the online Israeli English-language newspaper, Haaretz. The charges stem from the prime minister agreeing to regulate communications in return for positive coverage on one particular website, another agreement with another publisher for favorable coverage and receiving tens of thousands of dollars in gifts.
In response to the charges, Prime Minister Netanyahu said he respects the supremacy of law, but he believes that something is happening behind the scenes.
Natanyhou said, “I do believe that there are attempts to topple the right-wing prime minister of Israel,” according to the Alghad, Arabic TV channel. Netanyahu has denied any criminality and explained his actions as innocent, or he was unaware of others’ actions.
He called for forming an independent probe panel to investigate all the charges filed against him.
The indictment for Netanyahu comes with the backdrop of Netanyahu’s (Likud) and his rival Benny Gantz’s (the Blue and White party) failure to form a coalition government with smaller political parties after two indecisive elections (April and September) with neither winning a majority of parliamentary seats.
On Thursday, supporters of Netanyahu gathered around the home of their prime minister in a bid of support.
Naming a New Prime Minister
Alghad TV reported on Thursday that Israeli President Reuven Rivlin requested the Israeli parliament, the Knesset, to name a new prime minister, so the country can avoid going to a third round of elections. The Israeli president described the current political situation in Israel as unprecedented in the history of Israel, saying it is a “dark moment of history.”