Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced Wednesday night that he had written a letter to Knesset Speaker Yuli Edelstein, asking him for immunity from prosecution in his three criminal cases.In a speech at Jerusalem’s Orient Hotel, Netanyahu said that requesting immunity is not evading justice, since it only lasts the term of the Knesset that granted it. He said he was the victim of a court martial, and laughed that he has been accused of receiving positive news coverage. “I will come to court and quash all the ridiculous libels against me,” Netanyahu said. “The immunity law is intended to protect elected officials from manufactured cases, and guarantee that those elected by the people can serve the people according to their will and not the will of the legal officials.”Netanyahu said the public had not been told the facts behind the cases against him, due to injunctions that prevented them from being printed.In the 71-point letter written by Netanyahu’s lawyers Yossi Ashkenazi and Amit Hadad, the prime minister professed his innocence and asked for immunity on the grounds that he was singled out unfairly and that prosecuting him would harm the functioning of the government and Knesset.Ahead of the April election, in a live interview on Channel 12, Netanyahu ruled out taking steps to seek immunity. He said he was not reversing course by requesting it now.The immunity is unlikely to be granted, but could enable Netanyahu to postpone his trial, because there will be no Knesset House Committee to consider his immunity request until a government is formed.The Knesset Arrangements Committee will meet next week to consider appointing a temporary House Committee to deliberate on the request. Yisrael Beytenu supports forming a committee, but the party’s leader, Avigdor Liberman, announced on Wednesday night that his party would oppose granting Netanyahu immunity.“It is now clear beyond a doubt that all that matters to Netanyahu is immunity,” Liberman said. “Israel is being held hostage by Netanyahu’s personal problem.”On Wednesday, Edelstein told the head of the Arrangements Committee, Blue and White MK Avi Nissenkorn, that he would meet with Knesset legal adviser Eyal Yinon to discuss the legality of the sensitive issue at the beginning of next week.Blue and White responded by accusing Edelstein of “shamefully trying to prevent deliberations on Netanyahu’s immunity,” saying that: “We did not believe that the speaker of the Knesset would take advantage of his statesmanlike role to make the Knesset a safe house for evading prosecution.”Following Netanyahu’s announcement, Blue and White leader Benny Gantz launched a negative campaign against the prime minister, focusing on his attempts to evade prosecution.“Israel is being incited to an extreme,” Gantz said. “I never thought I would see a prime minister evade prosecution. Netanyahu knows he is guilty. One who believes 'there will be nothing because there is nothing' does not fear coming to trial. It’s either the Kingdom of Netanyahu or the State of Israel.”Gantz said that if his party forms the next government, it would change the immunity law to prevent it from being misused. He called upon Likud ministers and MKs to speak out against their party leader, and upon the leaders of parties on the Right to consider what they will tell their children.“Did you enter politics to become a political bulletproof vest for a leader accused of corruption?” Gantz asked.