Photo: Alex Kolomoisky
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu
Photo: Alex Kolomoisky

Netanyahu ignores charges during first cabinet meeting since indictment

PM opts to focus on the situation in Gaza and the protests in Iran, avoiding completely the topic of the indictment brought against him last week by the attorney general over 3 separate corruption investigations

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appears to have completely ignored the indictment against him in the first cabinet meeting since the criminal charges were announced by the attorney general last week.



Netanyahu on Thursday suffered a heavy blow to his hopes to remain in office after Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced his decision to indict the prime minister for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in the three corruption investigations into the veteran politician who has led the country for more than a decade.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (Photo: Alex Kolomoisky)


Netanyahu talked about the situation in the Gaza Strip, the Iranian aggression and the violence in the Arab sector, without mentioning the indictment at any point.


“There was an attempted infiltration of a drone from the Gaza Strip into Israel,” said the prime minister at the start of the meeting. “The cabinet held a discussion about the threat of drones … We are developing technological and other tools to counter this," he said.


"I estimate that we are capable of achieving results here, as we did with the active defense of Iron Dome, in order to provide the citizens of Israel with maximum security," he added.


Netanyahu during the cabinet meeting (Photo: EPA)
Netanyahu during the cabinet meeting (Photo: EPA)


The 70-year-old went on to talk about Iran planning another attack in the region, according to the information he'd received from U.S. military chief in the Middle East. 


“Iran is not only attacking its neighbors and us, Iran is also attacking its citizens. In recent weeks, they have slaughtered hundreds of Iranian citizens,” Netanyahu said, referring to a week of violent protests over gasoline price increases in the Islamic Republic.


"This is a tyrannical regime par excellence, the image and true face of which is now being exposed to the entire world. This is the largest terrorist regime in the world, regarding its own citizens as well," he said, adding that the international community must put more pressure on Iran.


Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit  (Photo: Rafi Kotz)
Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit (Photo: Rafi Kotz)


Earlier on Sunday, Netanyahu's rival and Likud MK Gideon Sa'ar made an official request, demanding the ruling party holds snap leadership primaries in a bid to unseat Israel's leader in case the country holds an unprecedented third elections in 12 months.


"Calling it an 'attempted coup' is irresponsible and tramples upon the state systems," said Sa'ar, referring to Netanyahu's remarks made in a fiery speech shortly after the charges had been announced.


"Netanyahu won't be able to form a government. We need to go to snap elections in the next 21 days," he said.


After Netanyahu and Blue and White party leader MK Benny Gantz both failed to form a government after the Sep. 17 elections, President Reuven Rivlin announced on Thursday the beginning of a 21-day period where 61 MKs could recommend any member to begin forming a government before the next elections are called.


פרסום ראשון: 11.24.19, 12:07
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