Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has stood down from all his ministerial posts as he grapples with the fallout from corruption charges against him, his office confirmed on Thursday.
Netanyahu will remain prime minister, but will give up four other offices: health, social affairs, agriculture and diaspora.
Jakov Litzman, the former deputy health minister, has already been appointed as the next minister of health.
Successors for the other posts will be announced next week, Netanyahu’s office said.
The country’s attorney general announced late last year that Netanyahu would be charged with bribery, fraud and breach of trust.
It is the first time in the history of Israel that an incumbent prime minister is facing charges. Netanyahu has spoken of a coup attempt and sharply criticised Israel’s judiciary. He accused the police of putting witnesses under pressure.
Netanyahu sent a letter to parliament speaker Yuli Edelstein on Wednesday seeking immunity in the three criminal cases against him.
He also slammed the investigation and said he would eventually prove his innocence.
The request is sure to delay the start of Netanyahu’s trial until after the March 2 general election, the third time Israelis will go to the polls in less than a year.
Opposition parties in Israel are demanding a decision on the immunity before elections.
Read the article on NT News (Deutsche Presse Agentur).