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Israel minister threatens coalition if Netanyahu indicted

Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon [UK in Israel/Flickr]
Israeli Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon [UK in Israel/Flickr]

Israel's Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon said yesterday that if Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is indicted over corruption allegations, he cannot remain in office, reported the Times of Israel.

"A prime minister under indictment and after a hearing cannot function," Kahlon said in an interview with Hadashot TV news.

Kahlon, who heads the Kulanu party, has previously said he would pull out of the coalition were Netanyahu to be indicted.

Netanyahu, meanwhile, has rebuffed rumours of an early election, saying he would be "happy" to see the current coalition government last until November 2019, when elections must take place.

Netanyahu's corruption scandal - Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Netanyahu's corruption scandal – Cartoon [Sabaaneh/MiddleEastMonitor]

Interior Minister Aryeh Deri, however, told Walla! news site yesterday that he expects elections to be held "at the end of the winter", with the date to be determined after municipal elections are held later this month.

An unnamed leader of a coalition party also told Channel 10 news yesterday that assuming Netanyahu is reelected, "his party will support a law that grants the prime minister immunity in case he is charged in one or more of the corruption cases against him".

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.

READ: Netanyahu questioned over corruption for 12th time

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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