(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Zionist Union leader Isaac Herzog pleaded with his party’s MKs and activists Wednesday not to depose him due to a police probe into alleged campaign fund raising violations.
Herzog has faced increasing calls for him to suspend himself from the chairmanship of the party and the opposition, should the probe get serious.
In a pre-Passover toast for party activists in Jerusalem, he asked them to avoid settling personal and political accounts.
“The party should not be dragged into kangaroo courts and head choppings,” he said.
“We are an organized and serious party. Everyone questioned has the right to say what is in his heart and give all the answers.
Herzog reiterated that he was sure of his innocence and that he would continue to lead the party “with integrity and clean hands.”
Attorney-general Avichai Mandelblit, Head State Prosecutor Shai Nitzan, and the head of police investigations Meni Yitzhaki met Wednesday to decide whether to upgrade the probe into a full-fledge criminal investigation. Mandelblit reportedly asked Yitzhaki to seek more details before he makes a decision.
Meanwhile, Shas leader Arye Deri’s legal problems continued on Wednesday.
His brother, attorney and real estate developer Shlomo Deri, was questioned under caution by the LAHAV 433 branch of the police in Lod for the second day in a row on suspicion of being involved in the corruption probe against the minister.
A gag order preventing Shlomo Deri’s name from being published was removed Wednesday evening.
Deri’s rival, former Shas chairman Eli Yishai, responded for the first time to the charges Wednesday in a pre-Passover toast for his supporters at Jerusalem’s Ramada Hotel.
“There never was and never will be happiness over misfortune,” said Yishai. “There are ideological and value-based gaps between us and a political dispute, but on the personal level we are all brothers. People.
Jews. I hope for him and his family that this entire episode ends with nothing.”Jeremy Sharon and Yonah Jeremy Bob contributed to this report.