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State's Attorney upset with police for haste corruption recommendations against Netanyahu

State's Attorney upset with police for haste corruption recommendations against Netanyahu

In a visible sign of Netanyahu's popularity, a video from Israel's Kan public broadcasting company showed the prime minister receiving strong support from passersby as a reporter winds her way through the Machane Yehuda outdoor market in Jerusalem, asking them what they thought.

Netanyahu's lawyers said the presents were simply tokens of friendship. A separate poll taken by pollster Camille Fuchs for Channel 10 found that 50% believe Netanyahu should quit or suspend himself, while 42% believe he should continue as normal.

Netanyahu, prime minister for a total of almost 12 years, also harshly denounced the police recommendations against him as "full of holes, like Swiss cheese".

"If Netanyahu is cleared - and given the weakness of the charges against him, it's hard to see how he can be indicted - then the police will lose their credibility and the public trust", concluded Glick.

Netanyahu, who has denied wrongdoing, has been questioned several times by police since the start of 2017.

One of the cases, known as Case 1000, alleged the "committing of crimes of bribery, fraud and breach of trust by the prime minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu".

"I want to reassure you, the coalition is stable".

Ofer Shelah, a lawmaker with the opposition Yesh Atid party, says criticism of his party's leader Yair Lapid - a key witness in the case against Netanyahu - is "an attempt to divert the conversation from what happened". His coalition partners, so far, have backed him, saying they will not take down the government over a police conclusion.

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Lieberman's Yisrael Beitenu Party holds five seats.

Case 1000 alleges that Netanyahu, along with his wife Sara, received lavish gifts worth thousands of dollars from Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australian billionaire James Packer in exchange for favors. The gifts from Milchan reportedly included expensive cigars and champagne.

The recommendations marked a dramatic ending to a months-long investigation into allegations that Netanyahu accepted tens of thousands of dollars in lavish gifts from a Hollywood mogul and offered to give preferential treatment to a newspaper publisher in exchange for favorable coverage.

Milchan, who is Israeli, has produced many films, including the blockbuster "Pretty Woman".

Police said that in return, Netanyahu had operated on Milchan's behalf on USA visa matters, legislating a tax break and connecting him with an Indian businessman. Police will now pass the evidence to the attorney general, who will make a decision on whether or not to indict the Prime Minister.

In contrast to Mr Olmert, who eventually stepped down and was convicted and imprisoned, Mr Netanyahu is still relatively popular with the public and enjoys broad political support in his Likud party and among coalition partners - almost all of whom stand to lose power if elections were held today.

He has already faced a series of large protests in Tel Aviv over the corruption cases.


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