20:55 GMT20 April 2021
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    TEL AVIV (Sputnik) - The Blue and White political alliance has called for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to resign from all ministerial posts amid the growing scandal triggered by the criminal charges against him.

    "The Kahol-Lavan [Blue and White] bloc appealed through lawyers to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Avichai Mandelblit, calling for Netanyahu's immediate resignation from all ministerial posts in the government", the opposition alliance said in a statement.

    The party stressed that the prime minister should step down in accordance with the decision of the High Court of Justice.

    The statement comes a day after Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit indicted Netanyahu on charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Following Mandelblit's decision, Netanyahu, who holds several ministerial posts, including that of Health Minister and Diaspora Affairs Minister, said that the charges aimed to depose him from the post of the head of government.

    Netanyahu has been accused of receiving luxurious gifts, including cigars and champagne, and offering to trade favours for positive coverage in a newspaper. In particular, according to the prosecution office, he will be charged with fraud and breach of trust in cases — dubbed Cases 1000 and 2000 — and bribery, fraud and breach of trust in a case dubbed Case 4000.

    The latter is considered to be the most serious as Netanyahu is accused of concluding a bribery deal with businessman Shaul Elovich, who controls the Bezeq telecommunications company and the Walla News site. Elovich allegedly pressed the editors of the website to meet Netanyahus' interests in exchange for about $500 million. The minister has repeatedly denied all charges and described them as a "witch hunt".

    The indictment, the first brought against a sitting Israeli prime minister, could change the ongoing process of forming a governing coalition.

    bribery, minister, Israel
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