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Israel: Netanyahu to quit 4 ministerial portfolios

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd R) and Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett (R) hold a security meeting with high-level military officials at Southern Command in Beersheba, Israel on 13 November 2019. [Amos Ben Gershom / GPO / Handout - Anadolu Agency]
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (2nd R) and Israeli Defence Minister Naftali Bennett (R) hold a security meeting with high-level military officials at Southern Command in Beersheba, Israel on 13 November 2019. [Amos Ben Gershom / GPO / Handout - Anadolu Agency]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is set to quit four ministerial portfolios he holds following the indictment against him for bribery, fraud and breach of trust, Haaretz reported yesterday.

According to the Israeli newspaper, the decision is based on the Supreme Court ruling from 1993 which stipulates that then-Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin should fire a minister who was indicted due to the severity of the charges.

Netanyahu is currently holds the ministries of agriculture, health, social affairs and diaspora affairs.

According to Haaretz, Netanyahu does not plan to quit the position of prime minister as the court has not yet decided whether the legal precedent of 1993 applies in this case.

The court noted that it is an unprecedented issue to indict a sitting prime minister.

Quds Press reported Israeli TV Channel 13 saying that the Supreme Court is to discuss whether Netanyahu is able to carry out his mission as a prime minister after being charged.

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“Some officials in the Ministry of Justice expect Netanyahu will not be able to remain as prime minister while indicted,” Channel 13 reported.

The Times of Israel reported that that at least two groups were preparing to file petitions against Netanyahu’s continued rule.

Both the Labor party and the Movement for Quality Government in Israel said, according to the Times of Israel, they would appeal to the High Court of Justice to force Netanyahu to step down, with further petitions expected.

The former head of Meretz Tamara Zandberg has called for the formation of a committee in the Knesset to strip Netanyahu of his immunity.

She said that it is unreasonable that the prime minister is indicted and there is no law that will force him to resign.

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