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New Knesset convenes in shadow of Netanyahu's legal limbo

After the swearing in of Israel's 21st Knesset, the Blue and White party will focus its attacks against the government on the corruption charges facing Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu leaves after an inauguration ceremony of Israel's 21st Knesset, or parliament, in Jerusalem April 30, 2019. REUTERS/Ronen Zvulun - RC113E52F170
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Israel's 21st Knesset, sworn in April 30, is destined to function in the shadow of the legal limbo faced by Benjamin Netanyahu, the outgoing and incoming prime minister. Never before has the task of forming a coalition been handed to a Knesset member tangled up in criminal investigations, with the attorney general planning to charge him for bribery pending a hearing.

For the Blue and White party, the corruption charges Netanyahu is confronting will be the main focus of its attacks on the government. Nevertheless, the anticipated governing coalition is expected to grant Netanyahu a safety net, most likely through legislation. That is why Netanyahu has asked Knesset members from the Likud to postpone any holidays they might have planned for August. He told them that the legislative session will probably be extended by a week, “because there will likely be a blitz of legislation.” Given that Netanyahu made these remarks during a closed session of his party, and the hearing on his case is scheduled to take place in early July, it is generally assumed that he was referring to amending the Immunity Law to keep him from being forced to stand trial.

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