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Israeli Protesters Call on Netanyahu to Step Down

Israeli Protesters Call on Netanyahu to Step Down

Israeli police recommended on Tuesday that Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted for allegedly accepting bribes and breaching public trust, leaving the Attorney General to decide whether to ultimately press charges on the embattled politician. Cabinet Minister Miri Regev said she was "not excited" by the police recommendations and urged patience while the attorney general reviews the case.

The police recommendation has now been handed over to the attorney general, Avichai Mandelblit, who is not obliged to act on it.

Both numbers were significantly lower than a poll in December, also published by Channel 2, in which 63% said Netanyahu should resign if the police recommend charges of fraud and breach of trust, with only 28% saying he should continue in his position.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will meet with President Donald Trump next month when he is in Washington to address the American Israel Public Affairs Committee conference.

Netanyahu has angrily rejected the accusations and denounced what he describes as an overzealous police investigation.

Netanyahu, while not denying numerous facts, denied any wrongdoing and vowed to fight on, saying that no police recommendation would prompt his resignation.

Mr. Netanyahu angrily rejected the accusations, which included accepting almost $300,000 in gifts from two billionaires.

From 2009 "Netanyahu and Arnon Mozes held conversations and personal meetings during which they discussed helping each other as a quid pro quo to advance their respective interests", said police.

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"He is unworthy to continue to be prime minister of Israel".

As a former journalist, Lapid worked for Milchan and Mozes at Yediot Ahronot. Netanyahu's Likud party tried to pass a law that would shield him from the recommendations by prohibiting police from making any recommendations. "But I was raised to look for the truth, and I would have no problem if I had to indict the prime minister, or anyone else".

A police report outlining the allegations said Mr. Netanyahu accepted cigars, champagne and jewelry in exchange for helping Mr. Milchan with US visa matters, and for trying to legislate a generous tax break for him and promote his interests in Israel.

The White House later denied claims that the Trump administration is holding talks with Israeli senior officials regarding the "Sovereignty Law".

Voters for Netanyahu's Likud party favored the prime minister with 50 percent saying they believed his denial of the accusations and sixty percent said the investigation was a deliberate attempt to topple him and nearly 73 percent, said he should stay in his position.

Many are saying that if an indictment is brought against the Prime Minister, he should resign immediately.

"From a moral standpoint, this is a disgrace to the state of Israel, where a prime minister is suspected of such serious crimes", said Oren Simon, one of the protesters.

Israel's so-called left and centrist parties have issued pro forma statements calling on Netanyahu to resign, but they have done nothing during the last 13 months, when he was subject to police questioning, to challenge him.

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