Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has defied fresh opposition calls for him to step down after police recommended that he be indicted for corruption charges.
Israeli police said Tuesday that there was ample evidence for Netanyahu to be indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in two separate cases. The final decision to indict the prime minister is with Israel’s attorney general, a process which could take weeks or months.
The indictment recommendation promoted calls among Israeli opposition leaders for Netanyahu to step down, with the head of the Labor Party, Avi Gabbay and Yair Lapid, who chairs the opposition Yesh Atid party, urging the premier’s coalition partners to leave his ranks.
Lapid said, “Someone with such serious accusations against them, many of which he does not even deny, cannot continue to serve as prime minister with responsibility for the security and well-being of Israel’s citizens.”
Gabbay told Israel’s army Radio, “I think it’s clear here that this government needs to go to elections. It can’t be that this government continues as is,” adding, “There’s really a government culture of corruption.”
Police Commissioner Roni Alsheich said officers investigating Netanyahu had been followed and put under pressure.
Netanyahu era really over? Israel Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu vows to stay in office just minutes after police recommended indicting him for bribery in two criminal investigations.
However, Netanyahu, who has invariably dismissed his corruption charges, remained defiant and said, “I am certain, as I have always been certain, and nothing has changed, that the truth will come to light and nothing will come of this.—Agencies