Netanyahu Not Forced to Resign After Corruption Charges

Benjamin Netanyahu (Reuters)

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu will not be forced to resign following corruption charges, reports the Associated Press.

Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit shared the news publicly on Monday, revealing that Netanyahu would remain interim prime minister.

Mandelblit officially charged Netanyahu on Thursday, Nov. 21, in a series of corruption cases. Charges include fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes in three different situations. This is the first time a sitting prime minister in Israel has been charged with a crime.

Netanyahu has been accused of offering to trade favors with an Israeli news publisher, accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars' worth of champagne and cigars from wealthy friends, and aiding a telecom magnate in exchange for publicity, according to World Israel News.

Netanyahu, Israel's longest-sitting prime minister, says the allegations are merely an "attempted coup" and called the investigation an unfair "witch hunt."

Although Cabinet ministers who are charged with crimes must resign, Israeli law does not explicitly say prime ministers must do the same.

The charges come after Israel held two elections this year—a first for the nation. Neither resulted in a successful formation of a government. Both Netanyahu and his main rival, former military chief Benny Gantz, failed to gain a majority in parliament and, as a result, failed to form a new government.

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