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Netanyahu sought to establish trade zone with Jordan

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu giving a TV interview [IsraelinUSA/Flickr]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu sought to establish an international trade zone along the border with Jordan, a police investigation into corruption has suggested according to Israel's Channel 2.

The police suspect that Netanyahu wanted to compensate Israeli businessman Arnon Milchan for the gifts the prime minister and his wife received in the form of cigars, champagne and hundreds of thousands of shekels.

In the framework of the cooperation between Milchan and an Indian company, the businessman asked the prime minister to initiate an international trade zone on the border with Jordan, according to Channel 2. Police suspect that Netanyahu promised Milchan he would do so but the project was not implemented.

The channel reported that the project was initiated nine years ago between Milchan and the Indian Tata Group.

Explained: Netanyahu's media corruption scandal

If the project was realised, Milchan would have earned significant gains and financial revenues from the move. The project did not see the light of day because of the Arab Spring revolutions.

These new suspicions against Netanyahu in the context of "Case 1000" are added to other suspicions currently under investigation by the police.

Investigators found new information on "Case 1000" following the statement of Ari Harow, the former director of Netanyahu's office, who became an important witness in "Case 1000" and "Case 2000".

Netanyahu is currently entangled in four political scandals: Case 1000 which involves allegations that the PM and his wife accepted illegal gifts from businessmen; Case 2000 which accuses Netanyahu of attempting to buy favourable newspaper coverage; Case 3000, also known as the "submarine scandal"; and Case 4000, in which a close associate of Netanyahu is suspected of providing confidential information to Israel's largest telecoms company.

The prime minister's wife, Sara Netanyahu, has also been accused of using public funds for private expenditure in the prime minister's households. Only 20 per cent of respondents to the recent survey believe she is innocent.

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