Gabbay: The Netanyahu era is over

Zionist Union chairman instructs party members to prepare for elections in the wake of the latest developments in Netanyahu investigations.

Elad Benari,

Avi Gabbay
Avi Gabbay
Miri Tzahi/TPS

Zionist Union chairman Avi Gabbay on Tuesday instructed members of the party to prepare for elections in the wake of the latest developments in the investigations against Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.

“The Netanyahu era is over. We must prepare for elections soon,” Gabbay declared, according to a report by Hadashot (formerly Channel 2 News).

Gabbay reportedly harshly attacked Netanyahu and claimed that "the criminal tower of cards that the prime minister has built in recent years – the corruption of the public service, the damage to the rule of law, the threat to freedom of the press and, above all, the division of groups in Israeli society – is collapsing on him and on his surroundings.”

He further claimed that Ministers Bennett and Kahlon will understand in the coming days that Netanyahu has no choice but to resign. "The process of healing and repairing Israeli society from these bad days will be long, but we will do it," Gabbay wrote to the party members.

"We must all concentrate on one effort: To win the elections and to bring to Israel a government and a values-based leadership that is honest, transparent, uncompromising and is not controlled by any tycoon. This is our duty to the public,” he added.

Gabbay promised that he would form a government in which "there will be no Milchans, Molchos or Shimrons”, a reference to Netanyahu’s associates who have been questioned in the probes against the prime minister.

Gabbay said his government would include “only honest people, imbued with a sense of a public mission. This is possible. It is in our hands."

His comments came hours before Shlomo Filber, the Director General of the Communications Ministry and a close associate of Netanyahu, signed a deal to turn state’s witness in the so-called “Case 4000”.

In his testimony, Filber is expected to say that Netanyahu instructed him to grant regulatory benefits to the Bezeq communications company. Police suspect that in exchange for these benefits, chief Bezeq shareholder Shaul Elovitch provided sympathetic coverage to the prime minister and his wife on the Walla! news website, which he also owns.

Netanyahu released a new video on Tuesday evening responding to the reports on the latest developments in the investigations with which he is associated.

"What's been happening in the past two days is simply complete chaos, a scandal, bringing two false claims as part of the campaign against me and my family that has been going on for years," Netanyahu said in the video.

"They concoct a new case every two hours, every close associate is investigated, immediately a flood of false leaks and we know what the goal is, to create a cloud over the Prime Minister's head. It's unbelievable," he added.