After Indictment, Gantz's Party Quotes Netanyahu: 'A PM Up to His Neck in Investigations Has No Mandate'

Labor Party plans to file High Court petition demanding Netanyahu take leave of absence following indictment

Kahol Lavan leader Benny Gantz
Avishag Shaar-Yashuv

The Kahol Lavan party, led by Benny Gantz, responded to the indictment filed against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Thursday by quoting the the premier himself, tweeting that "A prime minister steeped up to his neck in investigations doesn't have a moral or public mandate to make such fateful decisions regarding the state of Israel."

The quote in question was a statement made by Netanyahu in 2008 regarding former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert, who was embroiled in a corruption investigation at the time and later went to jail.

"There is a real, not unfounded fear that he will make decisions based on his own interests of political survivability rather than the national interest," Netanyahu had said at the time.

On his personal account, Gantz called the announcement "a sad day for the State of Israel."

Yisrael Beiteinu chairman Avigdor Lieberman echoed Gantz's sentiments. "This is a difficult day for the State of Israel. We need to give the wheels of justice to give their work and give the prime minister to prove his innocence in court," Lieberman tweeted.  

Labor Party head Amir Peretz said his party intends to file a High Court petition demanding that Netanyahu take a leave of absence.

The head of the Joint List, Ayman Odeh, said that "the day Netanyahu pays for his criminal actions is when we can begin to mend the damage he has caused."

"The racism and hate he spread will not disappear with him" into prison, he said, adding that it is up to Jews and Arabs to build a just and equal society.

Nitzan Horowitz, who heads the Democratic Union, said Netanyahu must not be allowed to serve even one more moment, adding that the prime minister will be remembered as the person "complicit in the worst corruption of Israeli democracy."

According to Netanyahu's Likud party colleague Knesset memeber Miki Zohar, "everything was known in advance. We knew the attorney general would not withstand the pressure."