Netanyahu’s party slams ‘false’ report he will stay in office if indicted

The Likud party slammed a report claiming that the prime minister will not resign even if indicted, among other allegations.

By Jack Gold, World Israel News

The Likud political party, headed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, stated Thursday that a report by Israel Hayom, claiming that the Israeli leader will not resign even if indicted, is false.

“The claim that the prime minister said such things is false because the prime minister has not spoken with anyone about this matter,” the Likud said in a statement, The Jerusalem Post reported.

Israel Hayom also said that the Likud had threatened to publicly target Attorney General Avicahi Mandelblit and focus its election campaign on him if he indicts Netanyahu. The party denied this allegation as well.

“No one in Likud is threatening the attorney general,” the statement continued. “The threats and pressure to release an indictment against Netanyahu, no matter the cost and no matter the circumstances, comes every day from the left and the media.”

The article further claimed that Netanyahu told confidants that Mandelblit would not indict him during an election campaign and that even if he did, the prime minister would not resign.

“The law is clear, even if an indictment is filed against me, I am not resigning,” Netanyahu allegedly said, according to Israel Hayom.

The article itself had two versions. The final edition cited sources within the Likud who reportedly threatened Mandelblit, while an earlier version attributed the threatening statement to Netanyahu himself.

Last week, attorneys working on behalf of the State Prosecutor’s Office recommended Netanyahu’s indictment for bribery in Cases 2000 and 4000.

Case 2000 involves Netanyahu and Yediot Aharonoth owner Noni Moses, who allegedly made a pact according to which the prime minister proposed to use his power to weaken the paper’s main rival, Israel Hayom. It would involve the passing of a law curbing Israel Hayom’s distribution in return for Yedioth’s reduction of negative coverage of the Netanyahu government.

Case 4000 centers on the suspicion that as owner of Walla! News, Shaul Elovitch pressured his CEO, Ilan Yeshua, to arrange positive coverage of Netanyahu in exchange for the prime minister working to advance regulations that would benefit Elovitch in his role as Bezeq’s main shareholder. Sara Netanyahu is alleged to have pressured Elovitch’s wife, Iris, regarding the news coverage.