Israeli opposition leader urges elections amid Netanyahu's corruption probes


Israeli media have alleged that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's confidant, Shlomo Filber, will testify against him.

A gag order prevented publishing any details of the deal.

In unsourced reports, Israeli media said Filber has now agreed to testify for the state in the case, in which police allege that Bezeq's owners offered favorable coverage on media they controlled in return for favors from regulators.

Netanyahu's associates urged a friend of retired district court judge Hila Gerstel to meet with her and offer her the position of attorney general, which she ultimately didn't receive, police said.

The two are suspected in a case that involved the promotion of regulation worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Israel's Bezeq telecom company, of which Elovitch is a major shareholder. He has not been named a suspect in Case 4000. Nir Hefetz, a longtime media adviser to Netanyahu and his family, remains in custody. Investigators also say they have sufficient evidence to charge the Prime Minister with receiving bribes in the "Case 2000" investigation and to try the publisher of the Yediot Aharonot newspaper for offering bribes.

Allegations of corruption have dogged Netanyahu for the past two decades, but he has never been charged with a crime. Along with the verse, which refers to the Egyptians' fear of the enslaved Israelites gaining strength, he included a chart from a survey by his own pollster, Geocartography, showing a spike in support for his conservative Likud Party. On Wednesday, however, one of the party's Knesset representatives, Oren Hazan, became the first to call for the PM to recuse himself.

While Netanyahu's allies have rallied to his defense, and no indictments have been served, the scandal has called into question his ability to function as Israel's leader at a time when security threats are growing on Israel's northern and southern borders.

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She said the us will not change its decision on December 6 to move the USA embassy to Jerusalem, a move that has frozen U.S. US officials have said that the embassy could move as soon as next year.

"Always in the shadows, always loyal, efficient, secretive and ideological, Bibi (Netanyahu) knew that he could count on Momo". Filber, a personal appointment of Netanyahu´s to head the Communications Ministry, was arrested this week along with top executives at Bezeq Telecom, Israel´s largest telecommunications company.

Another on Channel 10 television showed that with Netanyahu at the helm, his Likud party would garner 27 seats in the 120-seat parliament if elections were held now.

Israel's next general election is not due until the end of 2019 but media speculation is rife that Netanyahu might go to the polls before the end of this year.

In less welcome news for the premier, another poll found that half the population wants Netanyahu to either quit or suspend himself, with only 33% saying he should keep his job.

The Israel Hayom said the Prime Minister's Office meant to push for an early election, rather than be forced into one by its coalition partners.

With reporting from Agence France-Presse.


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