Netanyahu Says Indictments Against Him Are An ‘Attempted Coup,’ Vows To Remain In Office

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Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a meeting of the Right-wing parties bloc at the Knesset, the Israeli parliament in Jerusalem on November 20, 2019. Photo by Hadas Parush/Flash90 *** Local Caption *** בלוק כנסת בחירות ישיבת סיעה ראש הממשלה בנימין נתניהו הליכוד הבלוק הימני הלאומי מפלגות הימין

JERUSALEM (JNS) — Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu struck a defiant tone on Thursday night, calling the corruption charges levied against him as an “attempted coup,” and that he vows to remain in office and fight the charges.

“This is what they call a personal investigation. A personal investigation on steroids,” Netanyahu said in a statement from his Jerusalem residence. “They’re spilling my blood, and the blood of my wife and children.”

“I will not allow lies to win,” he said. “I will continue to lead this country, according to the letter of the law.”

Nentanyahu’s statement came just an hour after Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced the decision on Thursday to indict the premier on corruption charges, including bribery, breach of trust and fraud.

Under Israeli law, government ministers are required to resign if indicted. However, there is no such requirement for the prime minister to resign while under indictment.

Nevertheless, Netanyahu, who is currently head of an interim Israeli government, faces an uncertain political future.

On Wednesday, Blue and White Party leader Benny Gantz announced that he was unable to form a governing coalition. The process now heads to the Knesset, where any member of the body can garner 61 signatures to form the next government. If a Knesset member is unable to form a government within the next 21 days, a third round of elections within the past year will be called.

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