situation report

Israel: Netanyahu Appears in Court on Graft Charges as Coalition Talks Stumble

1 MIN READOct 2, 2019 | 19:34 GMT

What Happened: Likud leader and Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared in court on Oct. 2 for pre-indictment hearings in his ongoing corruption cases, The Times of Israel has reported. Meanwhile, speculation is growing that Netanyahu may return the mandate to try and form a new government after talks collapsed with his main potential partner, Benny Gantz.

Why It Matters: With Netanyahu and Gantz failing so far to cobble together a unity government, Israel could be heading toward a third election in under a year. By that time, however, Netanyahu will be facing more pressure in his graft cases, jeopardizing support for Likud.

Background: Both Netanyahu and Gantz fell far short of the 61 Knesset members needed to secure a majority in the legislature in Sept. 17 elections. Netanyahu has vowed to annex parts of the West Bank if he becomes prime minister again.

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