According to a police statement published late Tuesday, Israeli authorities found sufficient evidence to indict their prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, for criminal charges including "accepting bribes, fraud, and breach of trust". In a televised statement before the police announcement, Netanyahu said that the allegations against him would be dismissed: "There will be nothing because there is nothing."
The announcement of plans to indict follows a 14-month-long investigation into "Case 1000" and "Case 2000". Case 1000, dubbed "the gift affair", alleges "that Netanyahu improperly accepted expensive gifts from different businessmen," according to the Jerusalem Post.
In Case 2000, the "Yediot Aharonot affair," Netanyahu allegedly negotiated with publisher Arnon 'Noni' Mozes for favorable coverage of himself in one of Israel's leading newspapers, Yediot Aharonot, in exchange for support of a bill that would weaken Mozes' biggest competitor, Israel Hayom, the largest circulating Hebrew-language paper.
In his televised speech given just moments before the police announcement on Tuesday, Netanyahu denied claims of corruption, saying they are "unfounded" and "outrageous" and that this is simply the latest of "never ending" attacks against him.
Evidence collected by the police will be reviewed by the prosecution and Aluf Avichai Mandelblit, attorney general of Israel, according to the Jerusalem Post.
When asked for an official U.S. response to the allegations, State Department spokeswoman Heather Nauert said, "The only thing I have to say about that is that the United States has a very strong relationship, not only with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu but also the Israeli government. We're certainly aware of it, but we consider it to be an internal Israeli matter."