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    Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends his Likud party session in the Knesset, Israel's parliament in Jerusalem, Monday, Feb. 8. 2016.

    If Netanyahu Steps Down 'There Would be an Earthquake'

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    The Israeli police are set to interrogate the country’s Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu over multiple abuses of power charges. He is accused of bribery and media manipulation. Israeli analyst Avraham Diskin told Sputnik what the consequences of such an investigation could be for the leader and his country.

    “This to me looks like a new phase of an old investigation. A number of times before, Netanyahu was directly investigated for several hours by the police, so it is just another round of quite an old story,” said professor Avraham Diskin, an Israeli political analyst at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

    According to the analyst, from a legal point of view, Netanyahu doesn’t have to step down as long as he is not convicted by the court. However, the precedence is that once there is an indictment, politicians of a lower degree are pushed by the court to resign.

    “Netanyahu and his lawyers said that he is going to follow the law and he is not going to resign under indictment, and if there is an indictment it’s a matter of years,” Diskin said.

    Talking about the political sphere the analyst said that almost everybody in his current government is quite satisfied with Netanyahu.

    “I don’t know if there are any criminal offences and I don’t know how the court is going to behave, but the government is not very enthusiastic of getting rid of Netanyahu yet,” he said.

    However, if Netanyahu steps down, “there would be an earthquake,” Diskin said.

    It is possible that there would be new elections and “judgment of the public, but right now it doesn’t look like an alternative government will likely be formed,” the analyst added.

    He further spoke about how the relations between the US and Israel would develop in light of the current events.

    “Trump is a problematic personality but he is by far pro Israeli compared to the previous administration. We also have to remember the long history of the personal relationship between Netanyahu and Trump, so all in all the relations between the US and Israel are now better than they were before,” Diskin said.

    Netanyahu stands accused of two major charges alleging the abuse of the power of office.

    In "Case 1,000," Israeli billionaire Arnon Milchan gave Netanyahu lavish gifts in an alleged bribery scandal. The second charge, dubbed "Case 2,000," states that Netanyahu promised to help increase the readership of Israel's second-largest newspaper, Yediot Ahronot, in exchange for the publication easing up on its historically critical coverage of the prime minister.

    Netanyahu has rejected allegations of wrongdoing, stating the "witch hunt" won't bear fruit, according to The Jerusalem Post. "It will fail for this simple reason: There will be nothing because there was nothing," he said.

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    Tags:
    abuse of power, investigation, politics, allegations, interview, Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel
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