Netanyahu Attacks Police Chief As Corruption Investigations Loom

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu proclaimed his innocence Wednesday night in a video posted on social media, while at the same time acknowledging local media reports that police are set to recommend his indictment in an ongoing graft probe.

The bill, instigated by MK Yoav Kish from Netanyahu's own party, was supposed to come before a Knesset committee on Sunday.

A Finance Ministry representative reportedly suggested that Israel could avoiding export to the United States in order to appease Trump, leading Netanyahu to respond that would not necessarily serve Israeli interests to go against the Trump administration's policy. "Instead of requesting that they wrap up the investigation as soon as possible, Netanyahu has chosen to attack the police commissioner, and by doing so, he is trying to dismantle peoples' trust in the legal system". Its last four prime ministers have all been probed, and police recommended indicting Ariel Sharon while he was in office, although the attorney general dropped the case.

Channel 2 said police chose to make no recommendation and leave a decision on those charges up to the prosecutor's office.

Ynet reported that police are split on whether they have evidence to bring charges against Netanyahu on that that case.

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, a Netanyahu appointee, has been accused of dragging his feet on the investigations.

Police will not present a recommendation on another case alleging Netanyahu negotiated with Yediot Aharonot publisher Arnon "Noni" Mozes for favorable coverage, Channel 2 said.

The 68-year-old premier has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing and says he is being targeted by political opponents.

He has largely remained out of the public eye since his release, but Israeli media reported that he broke his silence on the Netanyahu case on Wednesday. The law says that the one to determine whether there is evidence against the prime minister is the attorney general and he consults with the state attorney.

According to Ynet, "Police chiefs are in unanimous agreement that there is sufficient evidence to indict Netanyahu for bribe taking in Case 1,000 or the so-called 'gifts affair.'" The announcement is expected to happen on either February 12 or 13.

  • Rogelio Becker