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Israeli PM rules out early election amid graft probes

ISRAELI PM RULES OUT EARLY ELECTION AMID GRAFT PROBES

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has ruled out holding early election in Israel amid ongoing graft investigations against him.

According to the Israeli Public Broadcasting on Tuesday, Netanyahu lashed out in a private meeting with his Likud party members at "attempts aimed at taking down his right-wing government down."

"They are trying to get me and attempting to topple the right-wing," Netanyahu reportedly told senior coalition officials.

"This is not new; they have been trying for many years to topple the right-wing," he said. "However, I don't see us going to early elections now."

During the meeting, the Israeli premier accused Transportation Minister Israel Katz of "conspiring" against him.

Netanyahu has been in the face of storm amid a raft of graft allegations. He has been questioned by police on four separate occasions so far this year on allegations of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Last week the Public Prosecution reached an agreement with Netanyahu's former aide Ari Harow to become a state's witness. If Harow gives evidence against his former boss, it would increase the chances of Netanyahu facing charges.

Although Netanyahu would not be forced to resign if indicted, it would increase pressure on him to step down after 11 years in office.

Israel's general election is scheduled to be held in 2019.

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