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Small Rally in Support of Netanyahu in Corruption Cases

Small Rally in Support of Netanyahu in Corruption Cases

Monday, 11 November, 2019 - 08:15
FILE PHOTO: Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu attends the swearing-in ceremony of the 22nd Knesset, the Israeli parliament, in Jerusalem October 3, 2019. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun

Despite the prominent popular support to Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, particularly from the right-wing, a rally staged over the weekend in his support could not gather more than 1,000 people.

The sit-in took place in a city square in Petah Tikva, east of Tel Aviv on Saturday night, near the house of Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit.

Protesters raised placards condemning Netanyahu’s possible indictment in corruption cases.

They chanted against Mandelblit, State Prosecutor Shay Nitzan and police investigators.

The rally came as a counteract to weekly demonstrations which have taken place in the same city, where protesters have called on the attorney general to speed up the investigations into allegations against the prime minister and bring him to justice.

The attorney general has served as Netanyahu's cabinet secretary and was appointed by him to his current post in 2016.

Sources in the Israeli right said that Netanyahu’s supporters were disappointed by the small protest after they expecting the city square to be filled pro-Netanyahu protesters, particularly that the PM could lose the premiership post.

Observers linked the low turnout with the results of a special survey conducted by the Guttman Center for Public Opinion and Policy Research at the Israel Democracy Institute, which showed that 65 percent believe that Netanyahu should resign as head of Likud if he is indicted in any of the three corruption investigations against him, while another 53.5 percent believe he should resign now.

Mandelblit would reach a decision by the end of November on whether to file charges against Netanyahu in a series of graft probes.

Netanyahu, who denies any wrongdoing, has repeatedly claimed that he is the victim of a witch hunt by the media, the left, police and the state prosecution, designed to oust him from power.

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