Israeli Opposition Hails 'End of Netanyahu,' as Ruling Party Blasts 'Coup'

Ministers from Netanyahu's Likud party also criticized Yair Lapid, who police revealed is a key witness, calling him a 'snitch' for testifying

Coalition whip David Amsalem and Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in Jerusalem, February 12, 2018
אמיל סלמן

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud party criticized on Tuesday the police's recommendations to charge him with bribery in two cases while members of the opposition hailed the "end of Netanyahu."

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Tourism Minister Yariv Levin from Netanyahu's Likud party said the recommendations "exposed a coup against the voters."

Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon wrote on Facebook that only the attorney general can make a decision regarding an indictment, and called for people from across the political spectrum to stop attacking the police and the rule of law. 

Education Minister Naftali Bennet decided not to respond at this stage, but has said that the coalition won't dissolve over cigars and champagne.

Netanyahu's coalition depends upon both Kahlon and Bennet's parties.

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Labor Party Chairman Avi Gabbay said that "the Netanyahu era is over, either at the ballot box or through investigations." He further added that the prime minister wounded the police and the rule of law by trying to limit the investigators and to encourage public distrust in their conclusions.

The two cases are the so-called Case 1000 – in which Netanyahu is suspected of accepting lavish gifts from wealthy benefactors in return for advancing their interests – and Case 2000, which alleges that Netanyahu tried to strike a deal that would have provided him with positive coverage in Israel's second largest newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth, in exchange for hurting its free rival, Israel Hayom.

>> Bibi bombshell explained: Your guide to the Netanyahu cases <<

Likud ministers also blasted Yesh Atid Chairman Yair Lapid, who police revealed as a key witness in Case 1000 on Tuesday. Culture Minister Miri Regev, Amsalem and Levin attacked Lapid, calling him a snitch, and saying that the reveal of Lapid's true colors was Tuesday's "only revelation."

Labor Member of Knesset Shelly Yacimovich wrote on Twitter that Netanyahu is a corrupt tyrant, with "violent and egotistic behavior" who will do anything to survive.