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The irony of that evening meeting in December 2016 must haunt the suspects named in the police recommendations on Sunday, including Netanyahu and his wife Sara, and Elovitch and wife Iris.

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be charged with bribery and fraud, police have said.

The attorney general will now decide whether to bring indictments in the case, which centres on regulatory benefits allegedly granted to telecommunications firm Bezeq in exchange for positive coverage from a related media company.

Police have already recommended indicting Mr Netanyahu on corruption charges in two other cases, one involving accepting gifts from billionaire friends, and the second revolving around alleged offers of advantageous legislation for a newspaper in return for positive coverage.

Mr Netanyahu has long framed this investigation as a witch hunt organised by the media and the accusations against him as personal rather than legal in nature. Other former employees have accused her of mistreatment, charges the Netanyahus have vehemently denied.

Police say the investigation, which included the testimony of 60 witnesses, revealed that Netanyahu and Bezeq boss Shaul Elovitch engaged in a "bribe-based relationship".

Investigators pinpoint two key moments in the development of Case 4000 that helped ensnare some of its key state's witnesses, and in the end led to a scathing report against a sitting prime minister.




The website was used to promote the Prime Minister's personal interests by publishing flattering articles and pictures and removing critical content about him and his family, said the police statement. "No Bibi, no investigation", he claimed was the motto of investigators, Netanyahu said, referring to himself by his nickname.

The head of the opposition Labour party, Mr Avi Gabbay, renewed his call for Mr Netanyahu to resign after the latest recommendations were released.

Talk of early elections has become a staple of Israel's political landscape in recent months, but polls have shown the cascade of allegations against Netanyahu wouldn't cost him a fifth term.

Mr Netanyahu did not mention the allegations in his comments at the start of a cabinet meeting later in the day. "There was no fraud, no breach of trust or any other felony". "The people of Israel deserve clean leadership".

It's up to the attorney general whether to indict.

"A prime minister with so many criminal cases around him can not continue in his job and must resign", said Avi Gabbay, the head of the Labor party. Netanyahu held the government's communications portfolio until previous year and oversaw regulation in the field.


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