WATCH: Netanyahu says graft allegations a 'witch hunt' to topple him

2019-02-28 21:23

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday called corruption allegations a "witch hunt" meant to topple him after the attorney general announced plans to indict him.

Speaking in a televised statement a couple of hours after the attorney general's announcement, Netanyahu said he planned on being prime minister for a long time to come despite the allegations.

"The left knows it cannot beat us at the polling booth, so for the past three years they have been carrying out an unprecedented witch hunt which has one aim: To topple the right-wing government which I lead," he said.

In the statement from his official residence that lasted about 20 minutes, Netanyahu's voice seemed to break with emotion as he spoke of his family, which he said had been smeared by the investigations.

Standing before a campaign banner reading "Netanyahu Strong Right", he mentioned his relationships with US President Donald Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin as being good for Israel.

He alleged his political opponents "applied unceasing and inhuman pressure on the AG so that he would say that he is considering laying charges against me, subject to a hearing, even though it is clear that there is no substance".

"The main thing was to influence the elections, even if we know that this house of cards will completely collapse after the elections," Netanyahu said.

The attorney general's announcement comes ahead of April 9 elections in which Netanyahu is facing a tough challenge from a centrist political alliance led by a former military chief of staff, Benny Gantz.

Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit said in a statement earlier on Thursday that he intended to indict the premier for bribery, fraud and breach of trust pending a hearing, where Netanyahu would be given a chance to defend himself before charges are filed.

Read more on:    benjamin netanyahu  |  israel

Join the conversation! encourages commentary submitted via MyNews24. Contributions of 200 words or more will be considered for publication.

We reserve editorial discretion to decide what will be published.
Read our comments policy for guidelines on contributions.

Inside News24

Traffic Alerts
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire network.


Location Settings

News24 allows you to edit the display of certain components based on a location. If you wish to personalise the page based on your preferences, please select a location for each component and click "Submit" in order for the changes to take affect.

Facebook Sign-In

Hi News addict,

Join the News24 Community to be involved in breaking the news.

Log in with Facebook to comment and personalise news, weather and listings.