The announcement, so close to the April general elections, marks a dramatic moment in Israeli politics and is a serious blow to Netanyahu when he seeks a fifth term.
He has repeatedly denied any violations by condemning investigations as a witch-hunted media pursued by the media. In the most recent broadcast of the show, shortly after the announcement, Netanyahu accused the left that he was putting pressure on Chief Prosecutor Aviatch Mandelblatt – appointed to Netanyahu – to issue an indictment.
"The Left understands that they will not fight me in the ballot box," Netanyahu said. "They put pressure on the Chief Prosecutor to issue an indictment, although there is nothing to influence the election and crouch to the left government. "
" The whole house of cards of collapse. of which 4000 percent, "he added, pointing to one of the cases against him.
Netanyahu has a right to a hearing about the upcoming indictment before formal charges are filed, but this is not expected to happen long after the election. According to the Israeli law, Netanyahu is not required to withdraw if he is charged. It is only required to withdraw if convicted and this sentence is supported through the appeal process, which can take years.
The development on Thursday clouded the already grim Israeli political landscape. Netanyahu's political enemies will use investigations against him, but his coalition partners now have to decide whether to support a leader who is likely to be charged or withdraw his support and run the risk of annoying their common right-wing electoral base
. coalition partners said they would continue to support Netanyahu as he is considered innocent until he can prove his guilt
Requests for cigars, champagne and corruption
In the first case known as Case 1000 , Mandelblit intends to blame Netanyahu for a breach of trust. Case 1000 deals with supposed gifts that Netanyahu received from foreign billionaires worth a total of 1 million shekels (about $ 280,000), including cigars, champagne, jewelery, and more. The alleged transfers took place between 2007 and 2016. In return for the gifts, the investigators argue that Netanyahu has attempted to make tax breaks that would benefit businessmen.
In another case, known as Case 2000, Mandelblit plans to accuse Netanyahu as a breach of trust. Case 2000 deals with alleged negotiations between Netanyahu and Arnon, "Neyni Moses, the owner of one of Israel's largest newspapers, Yediot Ahronot. Investigators claim that Netanyahu has requested more favorable coverage in exchange for limiting the proliferation of Yedioth Ahronoth's biggest rival, Israel HaYom, a free daily newspaper owned by right megadonder Sheldon Adelson. General also announced his intention to raise a Mozes bribe. Moses' lawyer said his client was innocent and he expects the cases to be closed without accusations. This is probably the biggest case in front of the prime minister. He deals with the relationship between Netanyahu and the Israeli telecommunications company Bezeq. Investigators argue that Netanyahu has increased regulatory benefits of 1 billion Shekel (approximately $ 280 million) to the company and its main shareholder, Shaul Elovich, a friend of Netanyahu. Together with his prime minister, Netanyahu was also the minister of communications at the time. In return for compensation, the case claims that Netanyahu received favorable news from Walla News !, an online news organization owned by Elovitch.
Mandelblatt said he planned to charge Elovich with bribery, waiting for a hearing. Like Netanyahu, Elovich denied any violations.
Netanyahu and his strong legal team have repeatedly argued that any statement by the Prosecutor General on the legal status of the Prime Minister should be postponed until the 9 April elections. they could influence the outcome of the elections, they argue, as some of Netanyahu's key political allies said it could lead to "undemocratic" government change.
Amir Fuchs, head of the Democratic Values Program at the Israeli Institute of Democracy, says the public has the right to know as soon as possible if there is suspicion of criminal activity against a prime minister. "I think if we move on to the point that the Chief Prosecutor has a decision to prosecute, people have a right to know," Fuchs said. "Even the final prosecutor's decision does not yet say that Netanyahu is convicted, this is just a decision of the prosecutor's office. "
After being criticized as too close to Netanyahu, Mandelblatt became the premier's throne, Netanyahu's allies attacking the Chief Prosecutor, saying he was spreading" gossip, as well as questioning his behavior and taking Netanyahu decides against the allegations
of a key election campaign, robbing the probes and condemning them as a media tool and left wing to try to overthrow the proud right In public statements, live and social media broadcasts, Netanyahu tried to delegate them to the Chief Prosecutor's decision.
In mid-February, Netanyahu named Case 4000 a "fabricated case" in a chirp and followed
Unfortunately the pressures of the left and the media are inevitable oyatno will cause the Attorney General to rush and announce the hearing before the election, "he wrote.
Professor of Political Science Abraham Dickin believes the Prime Minister has no real choice. "Netanyahu, of course, put this question on the table because he can not avoid the elephant in the room."
"He can break," Dysin continued, "[but] still has no sign of this, and if he
Netanyahu's main rival, former chief of Lieutenant Gen. Gen. Benny Ganz, turned the investigations in one of his main weapons.
His first big speech as a candidate in February, Ganz said unequivocally: "The very thought that a prime minister may serve in Israel with charges is ridiculous to me. This can not happen. "Many other politicians also defeated Netanyahu in the investigations, but the attacks did not do much to undermine the stubborn support of his base
Netanyahu's party from Likud consistently chose about 30 places, but some studies show that Likud loses
Not only netanyahu in legitimate hot water
Netanyahu's wife Sarah faces her own charges of corruption on a case-by-case basis. last summer with fraud after an investigation in which prosecutors say it is evil using the taxpayer's money at the Prime Minister's official residence between 2009 and 2013
She is accused of misusing state money to pay $ 100,000 worth of food and spending thousands of dollars on private chefs. it is illegal to order food at the official residence if there is a cook already.
Sara Netanyahu's trial began in October and it is unclear when it can end.
Her lawyers have condemned the accusations as "fake and hallucinatory."
The beginning of the end?
Chief Prosecutor The announcement complicates Netanyahu's path to a fifth term as prime minister.
Netanyahu's Lithuanian party support was not in the face of ongoing investigations, but the merger between its two major rivals put its party in second place in the latest research.
However, political analysts say Netanyahu has the best chance of forming a government and remaining prime minister after the election.
"We know people are sticking to their political affiliation," says Dickin. "Here we are talking right-to-left, and for those left-handed the indictment will be even more proof that Netanyahu is a corrupt person, for those on the right side the prosecution is just another proof that the prime minister is being persecuted
"The main question concerns the few people who are not really involved in any of the camps," Dickin said, judging that indecisive voters make up no more than 10 percent of the voters
We do not know anything about them, "said he, but they have the power to decide elections, even a small change of seats from Netanyahu to his main contender could seriously damage Netanyahu's chances of forming a government
The most important thing is that Netanyahu can not serve as prime minister without the support of his coalition partners, opposition parties have urged coalition leaders to withdraw his support for Netanyahu if charged, and now these coalition leaders will have to see if the statement of the Chief Prosecutor changes their calculations. If they support Netanyahu and he goes down, their destiny may be related to his. But if they withdraw that support now, their collective right-wing electoral base may punish them in the upcoming elections