Ne­tanyahu govt safe for now de­spite bribery row

Hindustan Times (Delhi) - - INDIAUNSEEN - Agen­cies let­ters@hin­dus­tan­

JERUSALEM: Key coali­tion part­ners said on Wed­nes­day they would stick with Is­raeli Prime Min­is­ter Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu for now, pend­ing a de­ci­sion by the at­tor­ney gen­eral whether or not to in­dict him for bribery as rec­om­mended by po­lice.

A de­ci­sion could take months and Ne­tanyahu’s gov­ern­ment ap­peared sta­ble for the time be­ing. The right-wing premier has strongly de­nied the po­lice al­le­ga­tions, call­ing them “full of holes, like Swiss cheese”.

“I want to re­as­sure you, the coali­tion is sta­ble. No one, not I, not any­one else, has plans to go to an elec­tion,” Ne­tanyahu told a con­fer­ence in Tel Aviv on Wed­nes­day, the day af­ter po­lice made their rec­om­men­da­tions public. “We will con­tinue to work with you...un­til the end of the term,” he said. Po­lice on Tues­day said they had found suf­fi­cient ev­i­dence for Ne­tanyahu to be charged with bribery.

Ratan Tata fig­ures in Is­raeli po­lice rec­om­men­da­tions to in­dict Ne­tanyahu, ac­cord­ing to an Is­raeli me­dia re­port.

In the so-called Case 1000, Ne­tanyahu and his wife Sara are sus- pected of re­ceiv­ing il­licit gifts from bil­lion­aire bene­fac­tors such as Is­rael-born Hol­ly­wood pro­ducer Arnon Milchan. Ynet­news re­ported Ne­tanyahu tried to push a free trade zone that Milchan “sought to pro­mote as part of his part­ner­ship with” Tata.

Com­ment­ing on the re­port, the in­dus­tri­al­ist’s of­fice told PTI that it was “grossly in­cor­rect in its ref­er­ences about Mr Ratan N Tata”.

Last year, the Is­raeli me­dia re­ported Tata had “tes­ti­fied” be­fore Is­raeli po­lice in con­nec­tion with th­ese al­le­ga­tions dur­ing a trip to Tel Aviv in Oc­to­ber-novem­ber. A state­ment sent to PTI by Tata’s of­fice did not deny the meet­ing be­tween him and Is­raeli of­fi­cials but added the re­ports in Is­raeli me­dia on the con­tents of the meet­ing were “fac­tu­ally in­cor­rect and ap­pear to have been mo­ti­vated”.


The video show­ing the X­ray scan has gone vi­ral


Ben­jamin Ne­tanyahu

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