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Israeli attorney general says he's about to indict PM Benjamin Netanyahu on corruption, bribery charges

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Netanyahu dismissed the pending indictment as a 'witch hunt' by his political enemies

SEBASTIAN SCHEINER/AFP/Getty Images

The Israeli attorney general has announced that he is preparing to indict Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on one count of bribery and two counts of fraud and breach of trust. Netanyahu has insisted on his own innocence and has dismissed the allegations against him as a "witch hunt."

Here's what we know

According to a statement from Israel's Ministry of Justice, "The Attorney General, Avichai Mandelblit, has informed the Prime Minister, Mr. Benjamin Netanyahu, through his attorney, that he is considering indicting him on several criminal charges."

According to Israeli law, Ministry of Justice prosecutors will hold a pre-indictment hearing before they formally charge the prime minister.

Netanyahu has been accused of pushing for changes in regulation that would benefit a telecommunications company called Bezeq in return for positive coverage on a news website owned by the company. Police referred to this as a "bribe-based relationship."

He has also been accused of accepting hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of gifts from billionaires outside of his country in return for advocating for a tax break that would help the billionaires.

The prime minister himself has accused the entire thing of being a plot by his political opponents. "The left understands that they will not beat me at the ballot box," Netanyahu said, according to CNN. "They exerted extraordinary pressure on the attorney general to issue an indictment even though there is nothing, in order to influence the elections and to crown a left-wing government."

He called the allegations a "house of cards" that he was "4,000 percent sure" would collapse. His legal team has said that they fear the attorney general's investigation could influence the upcoming election in an "undemocratic" way.

Netanyahu is currently in his fourth term as prime minister. He is up for election again in April.

Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu speaks on corruption charges www.youtube.com

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