Netanyahu may run for president to avoid prosecution

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's prime minister and the leader of the Likud party, gestures as he speaks during a party event in Jerusalem, Israel, on Wednesday, 24 March 2021. [Kobi Wolf/Bloomberg via Getty Images]

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is considering running for president to replace Reuven Rivlin, whose term ends in July, in order to avoid prosecution, Arab48 reported yesterday.

The Arabic news site reported Israeli website Wallah saying that Netanyahu's agreement to become president would end the deadlock of forming an Israeli government and prevent the country heading to a fifth election.

If Netanyahu became president he would have immunity, but he may not be able to evade prosecution over corruption charges he currently faces. Israeli law gives the president immunity from criminal prosecution while he is in office.

Israel's Channel 12 reported, however, that Netanyahu rejected a proposal offered by his close aides saying he preferred to remain prime minister.

This would change if he failed to form a coalition government, Wallah said.

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