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Israel's Bennett won't back law banning Netanyahu trial

March 3, 2019 at 3:10 pm

Demonstrators hold placards and shout slogans during the protest against Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Tel Aviv on 3 March 2019 [Faiz Abu Rmeleh / Anadolu Agency]

Naftali Bennett, a partner in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s coalition government, said he will not back any law giving immunity to the embattled premier from graft charges.

“We will not support a law that will affect the current situation,” Bennett, the leader of the New Right party, said in statements cited by The Times of Israel.

Bennett, who is the current education minister, however, said his party would support Netanyahu as the next prime minister.

On Thursday, Israeli Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit said he will indict Netanyahu in three separate cases on charges of corruption and bribery.

Mandelblit is likely to order the prime minister’s indictment in Case 4000, in which Netanyahu is accused of awarding favors to Israel’s Bezeq Telecom Company in return for favorable coverage on the company’s news website.

Read: Israel opposition calls for Netanyahu to resign

Netanyahu is also expected to be indicted for fraud and breach of trust in Case 1000, which involves Israeli Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan, who was allegedly asked to purchase luxury items for Netanyahu and his wife.

He is also likely to be indicted in the third case known as Case 3000 that relates to an alleged deal for favorable media coverage with Arnon Mozes, publisher of Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth.

A recent survey this month found that half of the Israeli public believes Netanyahu should resign if the attorney-general recommends that he be indicted for graft.