Israeli police recommend charging Netanyahu in corruption cases, reports say

Israeli police have recommended indicting Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in two corruption investigations, according to Israeli media. These would be the first indictments after months of corruption investigations focusing on the prime minister and his family.

According to police, Netanyahu received at least 1 million shekels, around $283,000, in lavish gifts and bribes, Israeli media reported.

Case 1,000 alleges that Netanyahu accepted gifts from wealthy patrons in return for advancing their interests. In so-called Case 2,000, Netanyahu is accused of striking a deal with Israel‘s second largest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, to provide him with positive coverage in return for damaging the reputation of Israel Hayom, Israel’s free newspaper.

Netanyahu blasted the development in a televised address this evening.

“I have not known a day in office without vicious allegations against me and my family,” he said. “Fifteen investigations have been launched against me. I know the truth. This time as well, it will end in nothing.”

Netanyahu indicated he was committed to remaining prime minister.

“Nothing will divert me from my commitment to the good of the nation,” he said. “I feel a deep commitment to continue to lead this people.”

Last week, the embattled prime minister took to Facebook to criticize the police, calling the claims “ludicrous.”

He has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing, saying more than once “there will be nothing, because there is nothing.”

Tuesday’s reported recommendations are just that, recommendations, and while they are damaging politically and will certainly fuel calls for the prime minister to step down, the real decision lies with the attorney general.

By making the recommendations, though, the police are signaling they believe there is enough evidence to charge Netanyahu.

The police’s reported recommendations would now go to Attorney General Avihai Mendelblit, who will decide whether to file charges. This process could take months.

ABC News’ Jordana Miller and The Associated Press contributed to this report.


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