Netanyahu Attacks Israeli Police for 'Tsunami' of Leaks From His Investigations

Responding to Netanyahu, police say comments 'intended to obstruct the police's work and undermine the legitimacy of the rule of law'

(FILES) This file photo taken on September 27, 2017 shows Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu giving a speech at a commemoration event in the Gush Etzion settlement bloc.
Israel's Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu congratulated US President Donald Trump on his "courageous decision" after he refused on October 13, 2017 to certify the 2015 Iranian nuclear deal.
 / AFP PHOTO / Menahem KAHANA
MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attacked the Israel Police on Saturday following a news report on the impending renewal of investigations into his conduct in a number of high-profile corruption cases.

Netanyahu wrote on his Facebook page that "illegal leaks have become a tsunami," lashing out at the police's external media adviser as a costing Israeli tax payers millions. His Facebook post came in wake of a report in Israel's Channel 2 News that said the police would renew their investigation into Netanyahu.

Netanyahu added that "the public has long understood that there is a clear media hunt" after him. "As was the case in the past, this time too all the claims against the prime minister will turn out to be baseless. That is why there will be nothing."

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Israel's police said in response that: "The police are doing their job according to the law. We will not be pulled into unfounded wars that were intended to obstruct the police's work and undermine the legitimacy of the rule of law."

In the so-called "Case 1000," Netanyahu is suspected of accepting gifts from tycoons, mainly Israeli-born film producer Arnon Milchan. The investigation is focusing on instances where Netanyahu allegedly tried – as prime minister and communication minister – to advance Milchan's interests. In September, Haaretz reported that toward the end of 2015, after Milchan had sold most of his shares in Israel's ailing Channel 10, he sought to purchase Israel's Channel 2 and received help from Netanyahu.

Had it gone through, the purchase of the television franchisee may have posed cleared benefits for both Milchan and Netanyahu. From Milchan’s perspective, it would have been a successful investment to help compensate him for the aggravation he had suffered because of Channel 10. Netanyahu, for his part, would have potentially bought influence in an important media outlet, namely Channel 2 News.

The so-called “Case 2000” involves allegations that Netanyahu tried to strike a deal that would have provided him with positive coverage in Israel’s second largest newspaper in exchange for hurting its freebie rival, Israel Hayom.