MIDDLE EAST

Israel's Likud still popular despite graft probe - poll

A new survey of Israeli public opinion suggests that the right-wing Likud party has maintained its popularity despite an ongoing corruption probe into its leader, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.

According to the poll, Netanyahu's Likud would clinch 34 seats in the 120-seat Knesset (Israel's parliament) if fresh elections were held tomorrow.

The Yesh Atid opposition party came in second with 24 seats, followed by the Jewish Home party with 14 seats.

The same survey also found that the popularity of Israel's leftist and moderate currents -- represented primarily by the Zionist Camp coalition -- was on the decline.

Conducted by Israel's Maagar Mohot polling company, the survey included a random sample of 517 respondents and had a 4.3-percent margin of error.

For the last several months, Netanyahu has been the target of multiple corruption probes by the authorities.

Last month, police recommended that he be formally indicted for graft, saying there was sufficient evidence to charge him in two separate corruption cases.

The cases against the prime minister appear to be gaining momentum, with a Netanyahu aide agreeing on Monday to cooperate with police and give testimony in court.

Contact Us