State's Attorney upset with police for haste corruption recommendations against Netanyahu

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Despite recommendations by the Israeli police to indict the prime minister for bribery and breach of trust, some of his poll numbers are rising.

"I want to reassure you, the coalition is stable. We're going to continue to work together for the good of Israeli citizens until the end of the term in 2019".

Bennett, a key Netanyahu ally, spoke for the first time since police announced they are recommending the prime minister be indicted for corruption.

Beloved by his base and respected even by his adversaries as a guardian of Israel's security, Netanyahu remains the dominant figure on the Israeli stage, his combined 12 years as prime minister closing in on the record of David Ben-Gurion, Israel's principal founder.

The Australian Federal Police interviewed Mr Packer last December and he reportedly corroborated previous testimony by Milchan that the gifts were organised in response to demands by the Netanyahus. "I can say this is a slanted document, extreme, full of holes, like Swiss cheese, and holds no water".

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"According to suspicions, the Prime Minister worked to advance the extension of the tax waiver for returning citizens over 10 years, a benefit that has a considerable economic value for Mr Milchan", the police statement said.

The second investigation, Case 2000, alleged "bribery, fraud and breach of trust by the prime minister" relating to his dealings with Arnon (Noni) Mozes, publisher of the biggest-selling Israeli newspaper, Yedioth Ahronoth.

Polls published on Israel's three main television channels showed that more people believed the police's version of events than Netanyahu's.

The opposition has called for Mr Netanyahu to step down, but he continues to deny any wrongdoing.

As damning as the recommendation sounds, it probably does not spell the downfall of one of the country's longest-serving prime ministers - at least not yet. The 68-year-old right-wing premier has been questioned seven times by police over the allegations and has called the investigation an attempt by political opponents to force him from office.

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The recommendations now go to Attorney General Avihai Mendelblit, who will review the material before deciding whether to file charges.

When asked whether the prime minister should temporarily step down, almost half (49 percent) of the 495 respondents said Netanyahu should stay in office, while 43 percent said he should leave.

Police said in a statement that Netanyahu had accepted gifts valued at 750,000 shekels ($214,000) from billionaire film producer Arnon Milchan, and in exchange Netanyahu had operated on Milchan's behalf on USA visa matters and helped Milchan with the Israeli media market.

Yair Lapid, head of the centrist opposition party Yesh Atid, said "there is no choice but to tell the truth when the police ask for explanations in a serious corruption case".

In addition, Mr Netanyahu's most important political rival, and his former minister of finance, has agreed to testify against his former boss about the shady laws he was allegedly pressured to formulate but refused to pass.

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