Feb. 16 (UPI) — Israeli protesters rallied in Tel Aviv Friday to demand Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu‘s resignation, due to a potential indictment on bribery charges.
Former Israel Police Commissioner and one-time Netanyahu supporter Assaf Hefetz spoke at the midday rally in Tel Aviv’s Habima Square. The audience was estimated to include between 1,000 and 2,000 people.
Israeli police announced Tuesday that enough evidence exists to charge Netanyahu with bribery and breach of trust over alleged receipt of $283,000 in gifts from business leaders.
Collusion is also alleged between the Israeli leader and a newspaper publisher, by which Netanyahu purportedly granted political favors in exchange for favorable media coverage.
“There is not one public figure who would have remained in his post with the recommendations of two bribery cases. Bibi must resign,” Hefetz said.
Netanyahu has denied the allegations of corruption, and said he won’t resign or turn state affairs over to an acting prime minister while Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit decides whether to pursue the case.
Another speaker, former judge Oded Eligon, referred to Netanyahu and wife Sara as “our royal couple.”
Sara Netanyahu has been under police investigation for alleged misuse of public funds.
The protest on Friday was organized by left-wing Israeli political groups who have run weekly anti-Netanyahu demonstrations — mostly in Tel Aviv and nearby Petah Tivka — for over a year.