- The Washington Times - Thursday, November 21, 2019

Israel’s attorney general has lodged formal corruption charges against longtime Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, threatening to end the hawkish prime minister’s long career at a time of deep political uncertainty in Israel.

In the culmination of a long legal probe that Mr. Netanyahu has attacked as a partisan witch hunt, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit issued an indictment Thursday evening charging Mr. Netanyahu with fraud, breach of trust and bribery.

The prime minister, a close ally of President Trump, has denied any wrongdoing.

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Mr. Netanyahu has dominated the Israeli political scene for a decade, but has seen his power base erode following two inconclusive elections this year that have failed to produce a new ruling coalition. The Likud party leader had sought to cobble together a new government in part to protect him from the legal probe, Israeli analysts said.

The case against Mr. Netanyahy includes charges that he wrongfully accepted over $260,000 in illegal gifts from business executives and that he illegally granted government favors in exchange for favorable media coverage.

The indictment was handed down on the same day President Reuven Rivlin informed the Israeli parliament that neither Mr. Netanyahu nor his main political rival, center-left Blue and White party head Benny Gantz, has been able to form a government, setting up the possibility of yet another general election in the coming months to end the country’s long political stalemate.

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