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Israeli opposition head calls on PM to resign amid corruption probes

Israel
06.08.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
Tel Aviv (dpa) - The head of Israel‘s main opposition Labour Party on Sunday called on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign, two days after Netanyahu‘s former chief of staff agreed to appear as a state witness in two corruption probes against the prime minister.

"This should have happened a year ago," recently elected Labour leader Avi Gabbay told Army Radio. "The moment that there was no debate about [Netanyahu accepting] the gifts worth thousands of shekels, it should have happened."

Netanyahu faces two police investigations, dubbed Case 1,000 and 2,000. In Case 1,000, he is suspected of receiving lavish gifts in an illegal manner from billionaires. Case 2,000 revolves around a recording of the prime minister allegedly negotiating favourable media coverage with the publisher of the Yediot Aharonot newspaper in exchange for weakening the newspaper‘s main competitor, Israel Hayom.

In a video statement Friday, Netanyahu dismissed the accusations as "background noise."

Speculation that Netanyahu could face criminal charges has increased after Ari Harow, the prime minister‘s trusted adviser and former chief of staff, struck a deal with police on Friday to provide evidence in the corruption investigations in exchange for a reduced sentence in an unrelated case.

Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, in an interview with Israel‘s Channel 2 television station, said Saturday that Netanyahu would be legally forced to resign only if convicted.

Culture Minister Miri Regev, of Netanyahu‘s conservative Likud party, called the accusations a "media lynching" on Saturday.

However, the majority of top officials in the Likud have not publicly defended the prime minister.

 

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"Israel" (Hebrew: מדינת ישראל "Medinat Yisra-el"; Arabic دولَة إِسرائيل "Dawlat Isrā"īl") is a small yet diverse Middle Eastern country with a long coastline on the eastern
"Israel" (; , "Yisrā"el"; , "), officially the "State of Israel" (Hebrew: , "Mīnat Yisrā"el"; , "), is a parliamentary republic in the Middle East locat on the eastern shore of the
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|arname=ديمونة|meaning=|founded=1955|type=city|typefrom=|stdHeb=|altOffSp=|altUnoSp=|district=south|population=33,600|popyear=2007|area_dunam=29877|pushpin_map=Israel|latd=31 |latm=4|longd=35 |longm=2|mayor=Meir Cohen}}Dimona is a centre for
|arname=صفد|meaning=Lookout (from the Hebrew root "tzafa")|founded=|type=city|typefrom=|stdHeb=Tzfat|altOffSp=Tsfat, Tzefat, Zfat, |district=north|population=28,500|popyear=2007|mayor=Ilan Shohat|pushpin_map=Israel north
|arname=ديمونة|meaning=|founded=1955|type=city|typefrom=|stdHeb=|altOffSp=|altUnoSp=|district=south|population=33,600|popyear=2007|area_dunam=29877|pushpin_map=Israel|latd=31 |latm=4|longd=35 |longm=2|mayor=Meir Cohen}}Dimona is a centre for
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