Netanyahu to resign from ministerial posts by Jan. 1
December 20, 2019
(JNS)—Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Thursday that he will resign from all of his ministerial posts by January. He currently holds the health, welfare, agriculture and Diaspora affairs portfolios.
Three weeks ago, Israeli Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced that Netanyahu’s indictment for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three corruption inquiries.
Following that announcement, The Movement for Quality Government, an Israeli nonprofit and leading public petitioner to Israel’s Supreme Court, launched a petition demanding that Netanyahu vacate his ministerial posts, resign as prime minister and appoint replacements.
Though not expected to resign from his role as prime minister, Netanyahu agreed to resign from his ministerial posts following the petition. His attorneys noted, however, that he is not required to do so under Israeli law unless he is convicted and all appeals exhausted.
The Movement for Quality Government claimed that the prime minister “knowingly violated the law for weeks” by announcing his resignation only after their petition was launched.
Netanyahu is the first Israeli leader to face criminal charges while in office.