Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday said he will ask parliament to grant him immunity from corruption charges, a step that is expected to delay his trial for months. The step most likely puts the trial on hold until after elections in March, when he hopes to win a majority coalition that will shield him from prosecution.
Benjamin Netanyahu has won a landslide victory in a primary election for leadership of the ruling Likud party in Israel. The prime minister, head of Likud for the past 14 years, retained the famously loyal rightwing party’s leadership in the internal ballot, despite battling three damning corruption indictments. There had been speculation that Saar, his former protege turned rival, could dent the 70-year-old’s previously watertight Likud party support.
A rocket launched from the Gaza Strip at a southern Israeli city as it hosted a campaign rally prompted the prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, to take shelter briefly before resuming the event, Israeli TV stations have reported. The Israeli military said it had deployed fighter jets and helicopters to bomb Gaza overnight in response to the strike.
Israel will hold an unprecedented third general election in less than a year after politicians again failed to form a majority coalition in parliament. Members of the Knesset voted to set the election date for 2 March hours after a midnight (22:00 GMT) deadline passed. Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and his main rival, Benny Gantz, were unable to secure majorities following September’s inconclusive election.
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s indictment is expected to sharpen the battle lines in Israel’s already deadlocked political system and could test the loyalty of his right-wing allies, Israeli commentators said Friday. In an angry speech late Thursday, Netanyahu lashed out at investigators and vowed to fight on in the face of an “attempted coup.”
Israel could be heading towards an unprecedented third election in less than 12 months. Opposition leader, Benny Gantz – a former general who heads the Blue and White party – has followed Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s failure in October, to form a government. Gantz announced on Wednesday that he would not meet a midnight deadline, deepening political deadlock at a time of mounting security and economic concerns.
After nearly a month of fraught negotiations, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has abandoned his attempt to form a new government. On Monday, the longtime leader, who heads the conservative Likud party, acknowledged his failure to cobble together a coalition from last month’s muddled election results, and he returned the mandate to President Reuven Rivlin.
Israel’s election was too close to call on Wednesday, with a partial vote tally showing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu tied with his main rival, former military chief Benny Gantz. With no single-party majority in the 120-seat Knesset, or parliament, there will likely be weeks of coalition talks before a new government is formed. An official result was still hours, perhaps days off.
Current and former Israeli officials are pushing back hard Thursday on an explosive report claiming their country planted spy devices near the White House and other locations in Washington, D.C., calling it “fake news spiced with anti-Semitism” and “absolute nonsense.” The exposé from Politico, based on interviews with former senior U.S. officials familiar with the matter, stated that the government believes Israel planted cellphone surveillance devices in the nation’s capital over the past few years.
Arab nations have condemned a plan by Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu to annex a third of the occupied West Bank. On Tuesday Mr Netanyahu pledged to apply Israeli sovereignty over the Jordan Valley and northern Dead Sea if he is returned to office following a general election next week. Officials in Jordan and Saudi Arabia sharply criticized the announcement.