Dozens of Israelis have staged a protest in the occupied territories, demanding the resignation of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu after he was indicted on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
“We’re demanding from Benjamin Netanyahu to leave office and let us rebuild our nation … We are demanding from his partners in the he right wing coalition to not give him the opportunity to stay while he is on trial, on corruption,” said Tomer Pines, one of the protesters in Tel Aviv.
“We don’t want that our prime minister to go on with his premiership when he has legal accusation against him,” said Noam Shapira, another protester.
Separately, Palestine Liberation Organization official Wasel Abu Youssef said there was no need to feel sorrow for Netanyahu.
“Netanyahu has a fixed strategy when it comes to preventing having a Palestinian state on occupied lands, the ending of occupation and settlements. All negotiations attempts from Netanyahu … have failed because of his stubbornness and his attempt to try and gain time so he could enforce these facts. That is why we do not think that there is even the possibility of expressing sorrow for Netanyahu’s indictment,” he commented.
Israel ‘corrupt’ regime after Netanyahu charged with fraud, Palestinians say
Meanwhile, Palestinians in the occupied West Bank and the besieged Gaza Strip have described Israel as a “corrupt” regime in the wake of Netanyahu’s indictment in a corruption scandal that would throw his political future into doubt and complicate the struggle to choose the Tel Aviv regime’s next leader.
“As a Palestinian, I think presenting charges against Netanyahu asserts that this is a corrupt regime and this entity is living through real crises, among them their inability so for to replace its corrupt leadership,” Imad Abu Awwad, from the Al-Quds Center for Israeli and Palestinian studies, said in Ramallah on Friday.
Sufian Jamjoum, for his part, lamented the absence of a strong judiciary system in Palestinian territories that would hold corrupt people to account, emphasizing that the Palestinian people will eventually prevail.
To hell Netanyahu and others. Just like the Palestinian people have crushed others they will knock down Netanyahu and the Palestinian people will prevail,” the former Palestinian prisoner in Israeli jails said.
Moreover, Hazem Qassem, a spokesman for the Palestinian resistance movement of Hamas, said the indictment indicates that the Israeli regime’s leadership is “drowning in corruption.”
“Past years’ events show that the leadership of the Occupation is drowning in corruption, and that is normal for an entity that is based on stealing Palestinian lands and expelling its people.
“It also confirms the lies behind its claim that it is a democratic regime and has integrity. This is an entity that is based on stealing, a corrupted leadership, and a war criminal that should be in international courts,” he said.
Separately, Palestine official Wasel Abu Youssef said that for years Netanyahu had sought to avoid this outcome by “launching wars against the Palestinian people” to boost his domestic popularity.
On Thursday, Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced his decision regarding the indictment of Netanyahu.
“This is not a matter of politics,” Mandelblit said. “This is an obligation placed on us, the people of law enforcement, and upon me personally as the one at its head.”
Soon after the top prosecutor’s press conference in Jerusalem al-Quds, Netanyahu railed against the indictment in a televised speech. He said the indictment was filled with “false accusations” and called it a “tainted investigation.”
He also described it as an “attempted coup” against him.
Benny Gantz, the leader of center-left Blue and White political alliance and his main challenger in the two elections this year, wrote in a post published on Twitter in response, “There is no coup in Israel, just a bid (by Netanyahu) to hang onto power.”
Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, are suspected of wrongfully accepting $264,000 worth of jewelry, cigars, champagne and other gifts from wealthy businessmen for political favors in one case.
The Israeli prime minister is also accused of interfering with regulatory bodies and lawmakers on behalf of the biggest selling newspaper in the occupied territories, Yedioth Ahronoth, in exchange for positive news coverage and favorable stories about him.
Israeli lawmakers have less than a month to organize a coalition and select a lawmaker to lead a majority administration. There are strong indications that the legislators will not succeed.
Israel will have to hold elections for the third time this year in case Knesset members fail to garner 61 seats in the 120-seat legislature.