Thousands rally in support of embattled PM Benjamin Netanyahu

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After navigating the recent Temple Mount crisis and hosting diplomats of Muslim African nations, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu must again turn his attention to the ongoing corruption probe overseen by the State Attorney’s Office. The investigation relates to a number of claims leveled against the prime minister, which range from accepting gifts improperly to more serious accusations.

In a show of support for the prime minister, his Likud political party organized a rally on Wednesday night at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds. The rally was largely the brainchild of coalition chairperson David Bitan, who has remained an unwavering advocate for Netanyahu. Bitan announced that he hopes around 2,000 people will turn out to show support for the prime minister.

In addition to the controversy the corruption probe has engendered, the rally itself has also riled some of the Likud faithful, who believe the Netanyahu investigation should be permitted to proceed and arrive at independent conclusions. Central committee member Gil Shmueli was critical of the rally and wants Netanyahu to step away from office until his legal issues are resolved. Other Likud party members are also urging the people to let the justice system fulfill its function.

In addition to Bitan and other senior ministers and members of the Knesset, Netanyahu himself addressed the rally.

The prime minister thanked the attendees for supporting him and his wife, saying that the left does not stop creating “endless stories and endless headlines,” hoping to bring him down.

Several protesters are calling the allegations against the prime minister “fake news.”