Israeli Prime Minister under threat from third corruption case

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu addresses the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual policy conference at the Washington Convention Center

In return, the couple are alleged to have been given more positive coverage on Walla! news website, owned by Bezeq.

"I am sure that also in this case the relevant authorities, after examining the matter, will reach the same conclusion - that there was nothing because there is nothing", he said.

The decision on whether to charge Netanyahu rests with Israel's attorney-general, who is still weighing whether to indict the prime minister in the other two cases.

He argued in a statement that "these recommendations were determined and leaked even before the investigations began".

Israeli media say the 69-year-old prime minister has been questioned by investigators a number of times.

Mr Netanyahu denied the bribery allegations against him and his wife. In exchange, they believe Netanyahu used his connections with Elovitch to receive positive press coverage on Bezeq's popular news site Walla.

The Israeli police have already recommended charging Netanyahu for bribery and breach of trust in Case 1000 and Case 2000.

Police recommended that charges also be brought against Elovitch and his wife.

While it is now up to Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to formally prosecute those involved, the announcement ramps up pressure on Netanyahu, who faces a raft of legal woes.

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Netanyahu has said he wants his coalition to keep going until the end of its term, but politicians close to him say that given the coalition's shaky razor-thin majority, an early election is likely.

The Bezeq case, known as Case 4000, is the most serious of which Netanyahu has been accused.

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.

Netanyahu's colleagues in the ruling Likud party have lined up behind up, attacking outgoing Police Commissioner Roni Alsheikh for releasing the recommendation on his last day on the job.

Prosecutors say Sara Netanyahu used state money to pay for $100,000 worth of meals at the prime minister's residence.

Israel must hold its next election by November 2019.

In a joint statement with the Israel Securities Authority, police said they had also found sufficient evidence to charge Bezeq's controlling shareholder with bribery as well as other officials at the company.

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

Mr Netanyahu held the government's communications portfolio until a year ago and oversaw regulation in the field.

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