Netanyahu does not have to resign as prime minister, attorney general decides


JERUSALEM (JTA) — Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu does not legally have to resign his position as head of the current caretaker government in the wake of criminal indictments against him, Israel’s attorney general has decided.

A prime minister who resigns, under Israeli law, continues in his position until a new government has been formed.

Avichai Mandelblit in his Monday pronouncements did not issue any decision on whether Netanyahu would be allowed to form a government or not, saying it remains a theoretical question.

Mandelblit last week announced indictments on bribery and breach of public trust in three cases against the prime minister.

Government ministers other than prime minister who are under indictment are required to resign from their positions. Netanyahu has not yet resigned his portfolios as ministers of health, welfare, diaspora and agriculture.

On Tuesday, Likud Party lawmaker Gideon Saar, who is challenging Netanyahu for leadership of the party, called on Netanyahu to resign, and allow the party to work to form a new government instead of going to a third national election in less than a year. Saar has called for a snap primary for leadership of the party.

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