UNITED STATES (OBSERVATORY) – Police questioned Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday over his alleged dealings with Israel’s biggest telecommunications company in one of three corruption cases that cast a shadow over his political future, Israel Radio reported.
A car carrying police officers stopped at the entrance to the prime minister’s official residence while a group of protesters demanded Netanyahu resign over the investigation.
Police declined to comment, but Israel Radio said Netanyahu was questioned over allegations he had been given benefits from Israeli telecommunications company Bezeq for positive media coverage on a news website controlled by the company’s owner.
Netanyahu, who was twice questioned in the so-called case 4000, denied that Bezeq had committed any wrongdoing.
In February, police recommended that Netanyahu be charged with bribery in two other cases. The Israeli prosecutor is still considering whether to indict him.
In the first investigation known as Case 1000, Netanyahu is suspected of receiving bribes in respect of gifts from wealthy businessmen, who police say are valued at around $ 300,000.
The other investigation, known as the case, includes 2,000 alleged schemes to obtain positive coverage in Israel’s largest newspaper by offering measures to limit the distribution of a competing newspaper.
In both cases Netanyahu’s lawyers denied any wrongdoing.
Despite these investigations, the right-wing Israeli prime minister has gained popularity in the past few weeks and commentators say this is due to his strict security policies, the US withdrawal from the Iranian nuclear deal, which Netanyahu opposes, and the opening of the US embassy in Jerusalem, a move Netanyahu has long demanded.
Opinion polls have predicted the Likud party, of which Netanyahu belongs and heads a largely right-wing coalition and religious groups, will add up to four seats to 30 seats already in the 120-seat parliament if elections are held now.
The next general election will be held in Israel no later than November 2019.