Israel Supreme Court
Israel Supreme Court Yossi Zamir/Flash90

The Israeli Supreme Court will rule on whether Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu can form a new government after the March 2nd election while under indictment, in a decision that could make or break the political career of Israel’s longest-serving premier.

On Sunday, Supreme Court justice Ofer Grosskopf announced that the Court will hold a hearing in the near future on Netanyahu’s ability to form a new government – while under indictment -- after the March 2nd election.

The announcement in response to a petition filed two weeks ago by a group of 67 academics and other public figures, led by attorney Dafna Holtz-Lechner.

The petitioners include former Israeli Air Force chief Aviyahu Ben-Nun, former National Security Advisor Uzi Arad, former Shin Bet internal security agency chief Carmi Gillon, former Ben Gurion University president Rivka Carmi, businessman Dov Moran, and playwright Yehoshua Sobol, among others.

Last month, Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit announced that after a series of hearings with Netanyahu’s attorneys, he had decided to move forward with indictments against the prime minister including charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in the Case 1000, 2000, and 4000 investigations.

Netanyahu, who has rejected the allegations and maintained his innocence, refused to step down, setting up the possibility that he could be tasked with forming the next government even while under indictment.

In his decision Sunday, Justice Grosskopf ordered Attorney General Mandelblit to submit his legal opinion on whether Netanyahu can form a new government while under indictment, with the opinion to be submitted no later than 48 hours before the hearing next week.