Leftist protest against plea bargain with Netanyahu
Leftist protest against plea bargain with NetanyahuChen Leopold/Flash90

A source close to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit spoke out strongly on Wednesday against a plea bargain with Benjamin Netanyahu, saying, "Nothing is happening and nothing will happen."

The source's remarks came amid Netanyahu's feverish conversations with his defense attorneys, Amit Hadad and Boaz Ben Tzur, which started in the afternoon and ended late in the evening.

Despite those feverish conversations, it seems the contacts have not yet yielded significant progress towards a settlement.

Channel 12 News reported that a telephone conversation took place on Wednesday between Netanyahu's defense attorneys and Mandelblit, in which the defense attorneys hoped to understand the prosecution's position. However, the attorneys did not receive from Mandelblit the threshold conditions, those red lines that Mandelblit requires in order to begin negotiations, which further adds to the belief that the parties are still far from a settlement.

There are also disagreements within Netanyahu's defense team over the viability of the settlement. Attorneys Hadad and Ben Tzur believe that this is a good agreement, even a dream one, while the lawyer of the Netanyahu family, Yossi Cohen, thinks that such an arrangement is a serious mistake. In his opinion, the deal will damage Netanyahu's reputation and that a "confession by Netanyahu is a stain on his legacy." In light of all this, there are big question marks as to the feasibility of the deal during Mandelblit’s term in office, and perhaps even the feasibility of an arrangement at all.

Already on Tuesday it was reported that Mandelblit had "cooled down" and that the chances of a plea bargain were low. Sources close to the Attorney General explained that Mandelblit had slightly backed down from his positions regarding the feasibility of the agreement, both due to public criticism of the arrangement and due to "criticism from within."