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Netanyahu questioned by Israel Police in telecom corruption case

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [Israel Ministry of Foreign Aff/Flickr]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu [Israel Ministry of Foreign Aff/Flickr]

Israeli police questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu today over his alleged dealings with the country’s largest telecommunication company, Israel Radio said, one of three corruption cases weighing on his political future.

A vehicle carrying police officers pulled up at the entrance of the prime minister’s official residence, where a clutch of protesters called for Netanyahu to resign over the investigations, according to Reuters.

Police declined immediate comment, but Israel Radio said Netanyahu was being questioned over allegations he awarded regulatory favours to Bezeq Telecom Israel in return for favourable coverage on a news site the company’s owner controls.

READ: Israel Police question Netanyahu in telecom corruption case

Netanyahu, who has been questioned twice before in so-called Case 3000, and Bezeq have denied wrongdoing.

The Israeli PM is currently entangled in three other 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; and Case 3000, also known as the “submarine scandal”.

Despite the probes, the right-wing leader’s popularity has risen in the past few weeks, a reflection, commentators said, of his tough security policies, US withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal he opposes, and the opening of the American Embassy in occupied Jerusalem, a move Netanyahu has long advocated.

READ: Israeli prosecutor to recommend indicting Netanyahu on corruption

The surveys predicted that Netanyahu’s Likud party, which heads a coalition largely comprised of right-wing and religious factions, would add up to four seats to the 30 it already holds in the 120-member parliament if an election were held now.

Israel is due to hold its next national ballot no later than November 2019.

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