Israeli lawmakers give setback on immunity to PM Netanyahu
JERUSALEM — Israeli lawmakers on Monday approved the formation of a committee to consider Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s request for legal immunity, a major setback for the embattled leader who is seeking to f end off corruption charges.
Netanyahu was charged in November with fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three cases involving trading political and regulatory favors for positive news coverage, and accepting gifts from billionaire friends.
Netanyahu’s opponents make up a majority in the current caretaker parliament, and his request for immunity is expected to be rejected. Netanyahu has tried to delay the vote on immunity until after March 2 elections, when he hopes a more sympathetic slate of lawmakers will be chosen.
The prime minister has denied any wrongdoing.