JERUSALEM: Israel´s attorney general on Thursday indicted Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over different embezzlement charges including taking bribe, fraud and breach of trust, the justice ministry said.
Netanyahu is prime minister of Israel since 2009 and with these charges he has become the first PM of the country to be indicted while serving as head of the illegitimate state. The conviction in the case may put an end to his political career.
A copy of the decision has been sent to the Israeli PM. The 70-year-old accused has denied his involvement in all the crimes.
For the moment, Netanyahu is not legally required to resign, but the pressure would definitely be on him. He will have to resign if the indictment turns into conviction.
Netanyahu and his wife Sara are accused of illegally receiving expensive gifts from Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan and Australia-based Israeli businessman James Packer.
The case is expected to linger for years to come before finally being decided.
On Nov 19, Palestinian Prime Minister Mohammad Shtayyeh had condemned the US announcement declaring Israeli settlements in the occupied West Bank as legal.
Talking to Palestinian news agency Wafa, Mohammad Shtayyeh had said it was nothing but an effort to support Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the final moments of the prime minister’s race.
US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo had announced the new policy of the Trump administration saying that America no longer considered Israeli settlements to be illegal. Palestinians, European officials and rights groups have condemned the announcement.
In a series of tweets, the Palestinian leader Shtayyeh had denounced and rejected the statement of US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo. He had said it was a mockery of international law and resolutions that criminalized Israeli settlements and prohibited the occupying power from transferring its civilian population into the occupied territory.