'Netanyahu to Jail': Thousands of Israelis March Against Corruption in Tel Aviv

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Tens of thousands of Israelis protest corruption in Netanyahu's government, December 16, 2017
Tens of thousands of Israelis protest corruption in Netanyahu's government, December 16, 2017Credit: Moti Milrod

Thousands of Israelis have taken to the streets of central Tel Aviv to protest against corruption in Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's government.

This is the third consecutive "March of Shame" held Saturday night on Rothschild Boulevard, one of the city's main roads. Demonstrators shouted slogans such as, "Netanyahu to jail!" Hundreds of people also marched in Haifa, Rosh Pina and Afula.

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Those partaking in the protests are angered by a new bill that would prevent police from publicizing recommendations on indictments. The controversial bill was widely believed to have been drafted to protect Netanyahu, who is currently under investigation in two high-profile corruption scandals, by keeping the public in the dark.

The first investigation involves allegations that he received lavish gifts from wealthy businessmen, the so-called Case 1000, and the second involves allegations that he negotiated a deal with a newspaper owner for more favorable coverage, dubbed Case 2000.

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Saturday's march comes a day after Netanyahu was questioned by investigators of the national fraud squad for the seventh time at his official residence in Jerusalem. Netanyahu was questioned “under caution,” meaning he is suspected of committing a crime. Most of the questioning was expected to focus on "Case 1000."

On Friday, Australian billionaire James Packer testified he had given gifts to Netanyahu, per the Prime Minister's and film mogul Arnon Milchan's requests.

Last week's protest came as Netanyahu headed to Europe for meetings in France and at the European Union headquarters in Brussels

At the first rally two weeks ago, some 30,000 protesters marched along Rothschild Boulevard to Habima Square, many of them calling for Netanyahu to be locked up. 

A day after the rally, clearly bowing to public pressure, Netanyahu announced that he had asked lawmakers to devise a new draft of the bill so that it would not apply to the ongoing investigations against him. 

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