Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu returned to court on a corruption trial on Monday, and the country’s political parties are ready to weigh whether he should form the next government after the austerity elections, or step down to focus on his duties. Legal Issues.
Between the witness testimony in the Jerusalem court and the consultations in the office of the president of the town, this will be an extraordinary political drama day, which will make Netanyahu more firmly committed to governance.
He is Israel’s longest-serving prime minister, and even in the face of accusations of bribery, fraud and breach of trust, he has a firm grasp of power through four tough elections in less than two years. The election on March 23 was largely a referendum on his leadership, but no clear conclusion was reached.
At the same time, Israeli political parties began to meet with President Leuven Rivlin to suggest which candidate should be appointed to form the next government.
After each general election, the Israeli president is responsible for appointing a party leader in an attempt to bring the ruling majority together. The decision is usually clear, but given the scattered results of the elections, the Knesset and the Knesset are split between 1
Neither Netanyahu’s allies nor his enemies gained a ruling majority.Therefore, his fate can be attributed to the former right-wing ally Naftali Bennett (Naftali Bennett), with whom he had tightened ties, and the leader of the Arab Small Islamic Party Mansour Abbas ( Mansour Abbas) has not yet committed to support the pro-Netanyahu group.
Late Monday, Bennett recommended himself as the next prime minister, deepening the political deadlock in Israel. His right-wing Yamina party could have been the king, but it refused to support it.
Yamina has only 7 seats in the parliament, so being able to form a ruling coalition is far away. Bennett hopes that he can become a consensus candidate and be able to bridge the deep differences between rival factions.
The Israeli media earlier quoted Rivlin as saying that he did not know how to form any ruling coalition and expressed concern that Israel would participate in the fifth round of elections.
At the Jerusalem District Court, Netanyahu sat with his lawyer, and the chief prosecutor Liat Ben Ali read out the charges against him.
She said: “The relationship between Netanyahu and the defendant has become currency and can be traded.” “This currency may distort the judgment of civil servants.”
Netanyahu’s lawyers tried to refute, but they were dismissed by Judge Rivka Friedman-Feldman, who said they had already made the charges early in the trial. Response. The judge then ordered a brief adjournment during which Netanyahu left the court.
Outside the courtroom, dozens of supporters and opponents of the prime minister gathered to protest on the opposite side of the building in the presence of dense police, highlighting the deep divisions in Israel. Anti-Netanyahu protesters held weekly demonstrations for months, calling on him to resign.
Only a few kilometers (miles) away from Netanyahu’s right-wing Likud party delegation, he was formally recommended as prime minister during a meeting with Rivlin.
Netanyahu was charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three cases.
The first involved Netanyahu allegedly receiving hundreds of thousands of dollars in gifts from wealthy friends, including Hollywood film producer Anon Milkan and Australian billionaire James Parker. In the second case, Netanyahu was accused of attempting to compile positive reports in major Israeli newspapers in exchange for curbing the distribution of free Netanyahu tabloids.
The third is called “Case 4000” and will be the focus of Monday’s first witness testimony. The accusation alleges that Netanyahu supports hundreds of millions of dollars in legislation for the owner of Israeli telecommunications giant Bezik in exchange for positive coverage from its news site Vala.
Netanyahu denied any wrongdoing and dismissed the allegations against him as part of a “witch hunt” by the media and law enforcement to fire him. His trial began last year and may continue for two more years.
In January, prosecutors charged 315 cases Walla was asked to modify its coverage to be more beneficial to Netanyahu and his family. They said 150 of them were related to Netanyahu.
According to the allegations, Bezeq’s CEO Shaul Elovitch put heavy and continuous pressure on Walla’s former editor-in-chief, Ilan Yeshua, and they had to change the articles on the website to meet the needs of Netanyahu and his family.
Yeshua, who expressed his position after Yanyayahu left, said that he regularly receives requests from Elovitch and his assistants to discredit the prime minister’s political opponents, including Bené. Special (Bennett). He then forwarded the request to the top editor of the website.
Jesus said that Bennett was called a “naughty religious man” in internal news.
Israeli law does not require the prime minister to resign during the prosecution, and Netanyahu refused to resign. This has plunged the country into a deep division. An emergency unified government established last year resolved the coronavirus crisis and was caught in a political quarrel. It collapsed in less than a year due to the inability to approve the budget.
Natanyahu surpassed Israel’s founding father David Ben Gurion in 2019 to become the country’s longest-serving prime minister. He has held this position since 2009 and was appointed in 1990. He has held this position successively.
Associated Press writer Joseph Krauss contributed to this report in Jerusalem.