Report: PM Netanyahu Does Not Plan to Resign If Indicted

YERUSHALAYIM -
Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu. (Ohad Zweigenberg/Pool)

Even if he is indicted in one of the investigations currently being conducted against him, Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu will not step down, the News One organization reported. Based on sources close to the prime minister, the report said that Netanyahu came to the decision after meeting with several advisors in recent days, including his attorney Yaakov Weinroth.

PM Netanyahu’s main coalition partners will not push the matter, the report said. Both Jewish Home head Naftali Bennett and Yisrael Beitenu chairman Avigdor Liberman have told Netanyahu that they will stand by him if he is indicted in the “1,000 case,” in which the prime minister is accused of receiving gifts in a pay-for-play scheme with millionaire Arnon Milchan. The coalition is too important to give up, the three decided.

According to the report, Netanyahu is convinced that there are no grounds for an indictment – but even if the State Attorney decides to recommend that one be issued, the prime minister believes he will be able to prove his case in court. According to the law, the prime minister can be forced to resign only if he is convicted of a “dishonorable crime,” such as accepting bribes.

On Tuesday, reports said that Netanyahu was set to give up the Communications portfolio. After discussions with legal experts in recent days, Netanyahu has come to realize that he would likely be ordered by the High Court to give up that post, the report said. Milchan has an ownership interest in Channel Ten, and as this could constitute a conflict of interest, Netanyahu has decided to step down as Communications Minister before the High Court orders him to, as is likely. The most likely candidate for the post is current Sports and Culture Minister Miri Regev, whose replacement in that position has still not been decided.