Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit.
(photo credit: EMIL SALMAN/HAARETZ/MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu wrote Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit a letter to reassure him that he does not plan to attack him, following a report to the contrary in Yisrael Hayom on Thursday.
The headline of the pro-Netanyahu daily’s front page article was that the prime minister does not plan to resign under any circumstances, even if he is indicted on corruption charges.
The sub-headline said that Netanyahu told people close to him in the Likud that “Mandelblit will be attacked without mercy.”
“I want to clarify to the honorable attorney-general, in a way that cannot be misunderstood, that there is no basis to what was published, and the words were not said by the prime minister or anyone representing him,” stated the letter from Netanyahu’s lawyers, in his name.
Earlier in the day, the prime minister’s spokesman released multiple statements denying the report.
“No one in the Likud is threatening the attorney-general,” the spokesman said. “The threats and pressures to indict Netanyahu at any cost or in any situation come daily from the Left and the media.”
However, he did not deny that Netanyahu does not plan to resign if indicted. The law allows a prime minister to remain in office under indictment, until he is convicted and all avenues of appeal are exhausted.
Someone vandalized the grave of Mandelblit’s father on Sunday, and Netanyahu instructed Public Security Minister Gilad Erdan to have the matter investigated.
“This is a shocking act that must be condemned,” Netanyahu said.
Zionist Union leader Avi Gabbay slammed Netanyahu, saying: “When you encourage violence against the Left and threaten the attorney-general with bullying, it is no wonder people take the law into their hands... The violence, threats and bullying against the rule of law have to be changed. On April 9, we will change this government and its ways.”
The police recommended that Netanyahu be indicted on corruption counts in three different cases, most recently of bribery in Case 4000, involving alleged benefits for Bezeq majority shareholder Shaul Elovich in exchange for positive news coverage.
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