The Shas party responded on Thursday night to the indictment filed against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu for bribery, fraud and breach of trust - the first party in the right-wing bloc to express support for the prime minister.
"We support and strengthen the hands of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, a man with tremendous credit in the security and development of the State of Israel," the Shas party stated.
"Mr. Prime Minister, we believe and trust that your innocence will be proven and justice will prevail. Be strong and courageous. Don't fear. It's a difficult day for the State of Israel."
Culture and Sports Minister Miri Regev (Likud) said: "This is a sad day for the State of Israel. As I have always said, and I'm saying this evening as well - every person is innocent until the court decides otherwise, as is Prime Minister Netanyahu."
"The public faith in the State Prosecutor's Office and the police is at the heart of the public storm," Regev added. "There are weighty questions raised by the prime minister. And they must be clarified to the utmost to avoid a situation where the prosecutor's office and police investigators are immune from criticism and above the law."
"I want to encourage the prime minister and his family at this difficult time. It was noticeable during his speech that he was speaking from his heart. The Prime Minister has rightly made a decision to continue in his position as the law allows him, to fight for justice and democratic rule in the State of Israel. I have faith in the prime minister's innocence."