Netanyahu: no early elections planned in Israel

Feb 15, 2018, 01:55
Netanyahu: no early elections planned in Israel

Yair Lapid said "like any law-abiding citizen who is asked by the police to help them get to the truth, I went and answered all their questions".

Former Police Affairs Reporter at The Jerusalem Post Ben Hartman told Business Insider police accusations may not lead to a surefire outcome.

Netanyahu ally David Amsalem called him a "snitch". "That's how criminals talk, not public servants".

Netanyahu said he did so because Milchan had done much for Israel and noted that the late Shimon Peres had also been close with Milchan.

The prime minister appeared on Israeli television Tuesday minutes after police made their recommendations public.

Netanyahu was expected to speak soon.

The final decision on whether to indict Netanyahu will be taken by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit after extensive studying of the evidence.

"I am sure that the truth will come to light". Avi Gabbay, leader of the opposition Labor party, said the "Netanyahu era is over".

The gifts included pricey cigars, champagne and jewellery.

Israel's PM Benjamin Netanyahu has hit back after police said he should be charged over alleged bribery cases.

According to police, Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan was responsible for some 750,000 shekels in gifts, while Australian billionaire James Packer provided the other 250,000 shekels' worth.

"He didn't receive bribes at all. Not in a single day, not in a year, not at all".

The police statement said that Mr Netanyahu, after receiving gifts, pushed for the Milchan Law, which would have ensured that Israelis who return to live in Israel from overseas were exempt from paying taxes for 10 years.

"Woe to us if we should allow the struggle over the fate of one man - senior though he may be - to erode the moral and institutional foundations of our law enforcement agencies", said Yohanan Plesner, president of the nonpartisan Israel Democracy Institute, noting that Netanyahu was innocent until proven guilty.

Nahum Barnea, a leading columnist in Yediot Ahronot, said that Netanyahu should "suspend himself until the attorney general makes his decisions regarding the indictments".

What are the cases against Netanyahu? Even if the plain, dry law does not require Netanyahu to resign, a leader with such serious accusations hanging in the air against him should, in an advanced country, resign.

Minister of Tourism Yariv Levin (Likud) said that the police recommendations are part of "a contemptible move to stage a government coup against the will of the voter".

He says "there are things that are forbidden to do in a democratic government and this is one of them". She accompanied this case personally, and took an active participant in some of the investigations, including traveling to London to interrogate billionaire businessman Arnon Milchan.

"Someone with such serious accusations against them, many of which he does not even deny, can not continue to serve as prime minister with responsibility for the security and well-being of Israel's citizens, " Lapid said.

Netanyahu's lawyers said the presents were simply tokens of friendship.

A political crisis could be raging in Israel as the Israeli police on Tuesday night recommended indicting Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for "bribery" and 'breach of trust'in two separate cases.

Following the announcement late on Tuesday, Netanyahu angrily rejected the accusations, which included accepting almost $300,000 in gifts from two billionaires.

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.

'I will continue to lead Israel responsibly and faithfully, ' he added, also saying that he plans to run in elections that must be held by the end of next year.

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