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Bennett Asks Netanyahu to Return Dozens of Gifts He Received as PM But to No Avail: Report

© AFP 2021 / ABIR SULTANIn this file photo taken on March 11, 2021 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint press conference with his Hungarian and Czech counterparts in Jerusalem
In this file photo taken on March 11, 2021 Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during a joint press conference with his Hungarian and Czech counterparts in Jerusalem - Sputnik International, 1920, 29.08.2021
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Former Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has been battling corruption allegations in connection to three cases, including accusations that he accepted expensive gifts from wealthy businessmen in return for personal favours.
The office of Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett is asking Benjamin Netanyahu, who was ousted as leader in June, to “return all of the gifts” he was given during his 12-year tenure as PM, according to the Maariv newspaper.
However, it seems that the former prime minister is not willing to do so, as dozens of the gifted items apparently can't be located, Netanyahu’s aide claims.  
Overall, Netanyahu has been ordered to return 42 gifts belonging to the State of Israel, the report says.
The legal advisor to the Prime Minister’s Office – Shlomit Barnea - is said to have penned the ex-PM a letter in August asking for at least 27 of the gifts – that are allegedly not lost – to be returned. Among them is a a copy of the Bible with the first commentary by Rashi gifted to Netanyahu by Russian President Vladimir Putin, as well as a copy of the documents ordering the transfer of the US Embassy to Jerusalem signed by Donald Trump.
“With the end of term as prime minister you were supposed to return all of the gifts you received during your term… in the condition they were given, with the exception of reasonable wear and tear due to the passage of time,” Barnea reportedly wrote in the letter, according to a translation by The Times of Israel.
Netanyahu, who in June was dethroned by Naftali Bennett and Yair Lapid's coalition, finally moved out of the PM’s residence in Jerusalem last month. He's facing charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in three separate cases.
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