Israel's governmental unrest just got even more complicated.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu was indicted on charges of fraud, bribery, and breach of trust, Israel's attorney general announced Thursday. The charges stem from multiple corruption cases into Netanyahu, and come just after Netanyahu's prime ministerial rival Benny Gantz failed to form a government, likely sending the country to a third election.
Netanyahu's charges come from years of investigations into allegations that Netanyahu performed political favors in exchange for media coverage or gifts from wealthy media owners. The charges will not force Netanyahu to step down but will likely increase calls for his resignation, The Associated Press writes. Netanyahu has denied the charges against him, borrowing a phrase to call them the result of a "witch hunt."
Earlier this year, Netanyahu was nearly voted out of office, and then failed to form a coalition government, launching Israel into a second election. After that one, Gantz failed to form a government as well. This leaves 21 days before a new presidential election must be called. Kathryn Krawczyk
Israeli voters go to the polls Tuesday in an election that will determine whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stays in power. It is the country's second national election in five months, coming after Netanyahu's failed effort to form a governing coalition.
Netanyahu, seeking a fourth straight term with corruption charges against him looming, is the longest serving leader in Israel's history. Ahead of the vote, he promised to annex Jewish settlements in the Palestinian West Bank, and touted his relationship with President Trump, Politico reports. Retired military chief Benny Gantz's centrist Blue and White party was even with Netanyahu's Likud in polls ahead of the vote. Gantz said he offered a fresh start.
Either side was expected to have trouble forming a majority coalition. Harold Maass