Members of the Israeli government and ruling Likud party have expressed their support to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who might face corruption charges following inquiries into two criminal cases.
On Tuesday, the Israeli police said it had collected enough evidence to support claims that Netanyahu committed fraud and took bribes.
The police will hand over the investigative materials and its indictment recommendations to Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.
“I am sorry to disappoint the haters of the government’s head, who are desperate to remove him from office during the elections and put all their hopes on the currently ongoing mayhem in media.
“I have no doubts that Likud and the coalition will stand firm in their rejection of such attempts and Benjamin Netanyahu will continue to lead the state of Israel for years to come,” Zeev Elkin, the Israeli minister of environmental protection and of Jerusalem affairs and heritage, said in a statement.
Israeli Intelligence and Transportation and Road Safety Minister Yisrael Katz has also expressed his support for the prime minister, saying that Netanyahu should continue to run the country.
“I express my support for the government’s head. Prime Minister Netanyahu should be allowed to continue ruling the country and conducting state affairs both in security and other fields pending the decision of the legal adviser to the government [Mandelblit],” Katz said.
The Israeli prime minister is a suspect in two separate cases: Case 1000 and Case 2000.
Case 1000 has focused on Natanyahu’s receipt of expensive gifts from members of the business community, the total value of which is estimated at 300,000 dollars.
In Case 2000, Netanyahu is alleged to have attempted to conclude a deal with the Yedioth Ahronoth newspaper, which was required to cover the government’s activities positively as part of the deal.
Netanyahu, for his part, said he would adopt a bill that would limit the opportunities of the Israel Hayom newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth’s main competitor.
Commenting on the accusations, Netanyahu proclaimed his innocence and pledged to continue governing the country, adding that he hoped to take part in the next election, due to be held no later than in 2019.