Labor-Gesher leader Amir Peretz opened the weekly faction meeting Monday with a blistering attack against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, making it clear that the party is considering a petition to the High Court demanding that Netanyahu be forced out of office fdue to the indictments against him.
"The decision of the Attorney General to indict [Netanyahu] for fraud, breach of trust and bribery is a dramatic decision that shocks the benchmarks in the State of Israel," Peretz noted.
He said: "These are sad days for Israel and none of us have any joy. But the interests of the State of Israel take precedence over any other interest. I set up a legal team that will coordinate with MK Revital Swid, which aims to petition the High Court to discuss the Prime Minister's status as prime minister of a transitional government, and not as an elected prime minister."
He accused Netanyahu of causing Israel to "stagnate."
"We took several precautionary measures before referring the High Court, so that if we reach the High Court - we will reach the Knesset after the proceedings have been exhausted," Peretz explained. "Therefore, we have addressed a letter to the Knesset Speaker to set up a Knesset committee. She urged the chair of the regulating committee MK Avi Nissenkorn and demanded the convening of the committee for a discussion on the establishment of the Knesset committee, or alternatively, the committee which regulates these powers.
"Without a Knesset committee, or any other framework, this severe indictment will remain in the Knesset corridors for many more months," the chairman added.
"Today is clear, and Likud also understands that the blame for Israel going to third elections lies with Binyamin Netanyahu. The excuses are over, the spins are over. This week, the truth has come out: Netanyahu's only goal is to survive," Peretz concluded.
Gesher leader MK Orly Levi-Abekasis added: "The presumption of innocence facing a public figure is not the same presumption of innocence for ordinary citizens. They face higher standards, so those who are facing felony charges will not be able to continue in office, since he has to defend his innocence in court."