Israel's Netanyahu should be indicted for corruption, police say

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends a ceremony awarding people who contributed in the fight against human trafficking in Jerusalem

Israel Police Recommend Indicting Benjamin Netanyahu In Corruption Probe

Binyamin Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, should be charged with bribery in a corruption case linked to Israel's telecom giant Bezeq, police have said.

In a joint statement with the Israel Securities Authority, police said they also found sufficient evidence to charge Bezeq's controlling shareholder Shaul Elovitch with bribery, as well as other officials at the company.

Police have already recommended indicting Mr Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases, one involving accepting gifts from billionaire friends, and the second revolving around alleged offers of advantageous legislation for a newspaper in return for positive coverage.

Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing and claims he is the victim of a media witch hunt.

"The police recommendations regarding me and my wife don't surprise anyone", Mr Netanyahu said in a statement.

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Responding to the latest allegations, Mr Netanyahu tweeted: "These recommendations were determined and leaked even before the investigations began".

Elovitch's wife, Iris, and Netanyahu's wife, Sara, were also implicated in the case, known as Case 4000.

Two of his top confidants have turned state witnesses and are believed to have provided police with incriminating evidence. The statement recommending charges against Netanyahu in the case were published on the last day in office for Commissioner Roni Alsheich, who is stepping down after a three-year term.

Mr Netanyahu is accused of seeking favourable coverage from another Elovitch company, the Walla news site, in exchange for policies that could have benefited the mogul's business interests.

They are also recommending charges be brought against Mr Elovitch and members of his family.

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"A prime minister with so many corruption cases around him can not continue at his job and must resign", Gabbay tweeted. "Israel must go to elections".

Opposition leader Avi Gabbay, chairman of the Zionist Union party, called for the Prime Minister to stand down immediately.

Most of Netanyahu's coalition partners have said they will wait for a decision by the attorney-general before making any decisions about how to react to the allegations.

This is the third such police recommendation against Netanyahu in recent months.

Israel must hold its next election by November 2019. Netanyahu now leads a coalition with a razor-thin 61 seat majority in the 120-seat parliament. Other former employees have accused her of mistreatment, charges the Netanyahus have vehemently denied, and of excessive spending and charging the state for her private, expensive tastes.

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