Truth NGO – Thousands of people have staged a demonstration in the occupied Palestinian territories to demand the resignation of Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after police recommended he be charged with bribery in connection with illegal gifts he received from a number of wealthy businessmen.
According to the Press TV, Between 1,000 and 2,000 protesters rallied in a Tel Aviv square, some with signs saying “crooks go home” and “crime minister”.
“After the police gave their recommendation that the prime minister is suspected of bribery, we think he should disqualify himself until the sentence and he cannot be any longer the prime minister of Israel, he cannot deal with this anymore,” Shlomit Bar, 63, a retired music teacher said.
“I am here to call on him and say: ‘hey guy, go home’. On two counts: one, from a moral stand point, this is a disgrace to Israel, where a Prime Minister is suspected of such serious crimes; the second count is from a practical point of view … there is no way in hell he has the peace of mind to take sound decisions when he knows that around the corner there is a very serious jail time. He should go home, enough,” Oren Simon, another protester, said.
Israeli police investigators have been grilling Netanyahu for corruption over his involvement in cases 1000 and 2000.
Police said on Tuesday enough evidence had been found for the 68-year-old Chairman of the Likud party to be charged.
Case 1000 revolves around alleged illicit gifts given to Netanyahu and his family by different businessmen, most notably the Israeli-born Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.
The Israeli prime minister and his wife, Sara, have denied wrongdoing in the case, claiming that the value of the items was significantly lower than reported, and that they were only “trifles” exchanged between close friends.
Case 2000 focuses on an alleged clandestine deal made between Netanyahu and Yedioth Ahronoth publisher and owner Arnon “Noni” Mozes, in which the 68-year-old chairman of the Likud party promised Mozes he would support a bill to reduce the circulation of Yedioth’s main commercial rival, the Hebrew-language freebie Israel Hayom, in exchange for favorable coverage of himself in Yedioth.
Reports emerged earlier this year that the president of the World Jewish Congress and Netanyahu’s long-time ally, Ronald Lauder, had given the premier and his son gifts, including expensive suits. The accounts prompted Israeli police to interrogate the prime minister.
Netanyahu is currently under probe over suspicions that he accepted 1 million euros (about $1.1 million) from accused French fraudster Arnaud Mimran for campaign funds during the 2009 elections.
There are also calls for Netanyahu to be investigated for his role in a billion-dollar deal to purchase three submarines from German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems GmbH.
Netanyahu’s personal lawyer and one of his closest confidants, David Shimron, reportedly represented the German company behind the submarine contract.
The Israeli prime minister, in an apparently unrelated case, is also subjected to accusations that he and his spouse misappropriated public funds to pay for private expenses, ranging from laundry to ice cream.