Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu accused the International Criminal Court of anti-Semitism on Sunday over its chief prosecutor’s plan to pursue a war crimes probe in the Palestinian Territories.

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday has said he is withdrawing his bid for parliamentary immunity from prosecution on corruption charges, paving the way for a trial to begin.

Israel’s longest-serving prime minister issued a Facebook statement on Tuesday saying the immunity proceedings in parliament would have been a “circus” and he did not want to take part in a “dirty game”.

“I informed the Knesset speaker that I am withdrawing my immunity request,” Netanyahu said.

Israel’s parliament, the Knesset, was set to convene to discuss the formation of a committee to debate the prime minister’s request for immunity from prosecution.

Netanyahu’s chances of success were slim, with lawmakers opposed to the request having a majority in parliament. Netanyahu’s Likud party was planning to boycott the Knesset session.

“In this fateful hour for the people of Israel, when I am in the United States on a historic mission to design the permanent borders of Israel and ensure our security for decades to come, the Knesset is expected to open another exhibition in the circus of removing immunity,” Netanyahu wrote.

The prime minister’s chief political opponent Benny Gantz, who leads the Blue and White party, said in a statement: “Netanyahu is going to trial – we must go forward.”


“Nobody could run a country and simultaneously manage three serious criminal charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust,” Gantz added.

Akiva Eldar, an Israeli columnist at Al-Monitor, said Netanyahu had no choice but to withdraw his immunity request as he lacked sufficient support in parliament.

“Netanyahu hates to be the loser. He wanted the immunity and he wasn’t able to get it. He stood no chance. He doesn’t have a majority in the Knesset to get the immunity,” Eldar said.

Netanyahu was indicted in November on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust over allegations that he granted state favours worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Israeli media barons in return for gifts and favourable coverage.

He denies any wrongdoing, saying he is the victim of a witch-hunt by the media and the political left aiming to remove a popular right-wing leader.

Netanyahu’s retraction of his immunity request paves the way for legal proceedings against the prime minister to go forward with the country’s third parliamentary elections scheduled for March 2.

The Knesset was still expected to assemble despite Netanyahu’s withdrawal of his request to form the committee, which will also address former welfare minister Haim Katz’s request for immunity from prosecution in his own corruption cases.


Get more stories like this on Twitter

AD: To get thousands of free final year project topics and other project materials sorted by subject to help with your research [click here]


More Stories