Nearly Half of Israelis Want Netanyahu to Resign Amid Corruption Scandal

Nearly Half of Israelis Want Netanyahu to Resign Amid Corruption Scandal

Key coalition partners said on Wednesday they would stick with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for now, pending a decision by the attorney general whether to indict him for bribery as recommended by police.

"I want to reassure you, the coalition is stable". "We will continue to work together with you for the citizens of the State of Israel, until the end of our term", in late 2019.

During similar circumstances a decade ago, Netanyahu, as opposition leader, urged then-Prime Minister Ehud Olmert to resign during a police investigation, saying a leader "sunk up to his neck in interrogations" could not govern properly.

The Ministry said it believes that Netanyahu's remarks reflect the goals of the right-wing and the schemes of annexation and Judaization of the Occupied Territories, ending the chances of a two-state solution and the possibility of establishing an independent, viable and sovereign Palestinian state with occupied East Jerusalem as its capital.

In the first case, dubbed Case 1000, Mr Netanyahu allegedly received cigars, champagne, jewellery and luxury travel from two billionaires, the Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and the Australian businessman James Packer, during his tenure.

The second investigation, Case 2000, alleged "bribery, fraud and breach of trust by the prime minister" relating to his dealings with Arnon (Noni) Mozes, publisher of the biggest-selling Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth. These police recommendations come in wake of an ongoing campaign by Netanyahu to discharge the credibility of his investigators. He accused police of being on a witch hunt, vowed to remain in office and even seek re-election. Netanyahu has repeatedly denied wrongdoing.

It is now up to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit, a former military advocate general and ex-cabinet secretary who was appointed to the country's top legal post by Netanyahu, to decide whether to file criminal charges. "All of those attempts resulted in nothing, and this time again they will come to nothing", Netanyahu said in the televised address.

Benjamin Netanyahu's lawyer, Amit Hadad, says police recommendations of corruption charges against the prime minister are based on "false" statements.

Lapid, who also called on Netanyahu to step down, was finance minister at the time one of the allegations took place.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked said any prime minister who has been charged should not be obliged to resign and Mr Netanyahu has said he would continue in his role.

Education Minister Naftali Bennett says that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is "not living up to the standard" expected of the office, but stopped short of calling for his resignation.

Police said in a statement that Netanyahu had accepted gifts valued at 750,000 shekels ($214,000) from billionaire film producer Arnon Milchan, and in exchange Netanyahu had operated on Milchan's behalf on USA visa matters and helped Milchan with the Israeli media market. However, he could face public and political pressure to step down much earlier.