Earlier on Wednesday, the Tel Aviv Magistrate's Court extended the remand of Bezeq's CEO and a top executive implicated in the quickly ballooning investigation. "In return, police say, Netanyahu had operated on Milchan's behalf on United States visa matters, introduced a tax break and connected him with an Indian businessman", reports The Guardian.
"This rapprochement to the candidate did not succeed", the police added. Police say that in return for lavish gifts that included jewellery, expensive cigars and champagne, Netanyahu had operated on Milchan's behalf on U.S. visa matters, tried to legislate a generous tax break for him and sought to promote his interests in the Israeli media market.
Case 1000, the first of the two cases, centers on allegations that the prime minister received gifts worth $280,000 from billionaires in exchange for political favors, and Case 2000 involves claims that he tried to cut a deal with a newspaper publisher in return for favorable coverage. Less than 24 hours later, police announced a fifth. "They bring associates, interrogate them, every associate is questioned, and immediately there is a flood of misleading leaks", he said.
A Case 3000 is also looking into potential wrongdoing involving Netanyahu's personal lawyer and German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp's local representative.
Aluf Benn, the editor-in-chief of the newspaper Haaretz, said: "These are the final days of Benjamin Netanyahu's rule". In fact, should the indictments against him include breach of trust, Netanyahu is likely to ask for the public's renewed trust at the polls.
Quoting a biblical phrase referring to the ancient Egyptians' treatment of the Jews, he said "the more they were oppressed, the more they multiplied and spread", showing a current television poll predicting a rise in the number of his seats his Likud party would win in an election.
On Feb. 13, Israeli police recommended indicting the premier for bribery in two separate cases.
Netanyahu is desperate to discredit the investigations, and meets every accusation with a strong denial. "We want to be on the side of the law".
The attorney general must now decide how to move forward with the police recommendations, a process that could take months. "I'm continuing to work for the good of the country", he said.
Avi Gabbay, leader of the centre-left Zionist Union opposition party, called on his party to prepare for elections in the near future. 50% said he should resign and the other 17% were not certain. Former Prime Minister Ehud Olmert went to jail for bribery in 2016 after his longtime secretary turned against him. A caption then says, "and in the real world" - followed by the James Bond 007 theme music and footage of Netanyahu in statesmanlike mode, protecting Israel's interests.