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Police recommend Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu be indicted for bribery

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US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo is greeted by Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at the Ministry of Defence in Tel Aviv

This time it is on suspicion that the leader eased business regulations for the country's largest telecommunications company in exchange for favourable coverage for him and his wife on a popular news website owned by the firm.

"I am certain that the authorized officials, after considering the matters, will reach the same conclusion in this case as well - that there was nothing because there is nothing", Netanyahu further said on Sunday.

They accuse the prime minister and Bezeq boss Shaul Elovitch, who they also recommend be charged, as having shared a "bribe-based relationship" which saw Mr Netanyahu and his associates intervene in news coverage on an nearly daily basis. These recommendations were decided and leaked before the investigation had even begun.

Netanyahu denies any wrongdoing and claims he is the victim of a media witch hunt.

Mr Netanyahu denied the bribery allegations against him and his wife.

In exchange, Elovitch, a long-time friend of Netanyahu's, allegedly ordered the Walla News website to provide favorable coverage of the Israeli premier and his wife.

The police also recommended that charges of fraud and breach of trust be brought against Netanyahu and his wife.

They also recommended charges be brought against Elovitch, members of his family and members of his Bezeq management team.

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Netanyahu last month was almost forced to call elections after a key partner withdrew from his coalition to protest a cease-fire with the Hamas militant group in Gaza.

This is the third such police recommendation against Netanyahu in recent months.

Elections are now scheduled for November 2019.

"He'll send a message to the attorney general that everyone knew about these three police reports and they still voted for him and want him in power", Hazan said. Netanyahu holds a solid lead in all opinion polls, and a victory would make it more hard for Mandelblit to indict and potentially force out a newly re-elected leader.

Some analysts say Mr Netanyahu could call a snap election because of the legal proceedings, with the next national vote not due until November 2019.

The prime minister compared his defense to Hanukkah, which celebrates "the victory of light over darkness", he said.

They recommended Ms Sara Netanyahu face charges of bribery, fraud, breach of trust and obstruction of justice.

The other is Mr Shlomo Filber, a Netanyahu ally for more than 20 years and former director general of the communications ministry.

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