Israel court hears Netanyahu

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Jerusalem

Israel’s top court Sunday started hearing arguments to bar Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu from forming a new government as he faces a criminal trial on corruption charges. The Supreme Court will also hear petitions challenging a coalition deal with his rival-turned-partner Benny Gantz, who is currently speaker of the Knesset, Israel’s parliament. Either case carries with it the danger of forcing another election, after three polls in less than a year failed to produce a government and left the country in a grinding political deadlock. “Today we shall hear arguments on the question of bestowing the duty of forming a government on a Knesset member against whom an indictment has been filed,” Chief Justice Esther Hayut said as she opened proceedings.–AFP