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Everything you need to know about the Israeli elections



While neither Netanyahu nor Gantz are strangers to controversy, this election may prove to be the most important one to Netanyahu as he faces several allegations of bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Last month, Israel’s attorney general announced his intention to charge Netanyahu in three separate criminal cases.

Case 1,000, as it’s known, concerns allegations that Netanyahu and his wife, Sara, accepted one million shekels ($276,000) in gifts from Australian billionaire James Packer and Hollywood producer Arnon Milchan.

Case 2,000 accuses Netanyahu of trying to broker a deal with Arnon Mozes, publisher of Israeli daily Yediot Aharonot, for favorable coverage in exchange for government limits on the circulation of a rival publication.

Case 4,000 concerns accuses Netanyahu of granting regulatory benefits to Bezeq, one of Israel’s leading telecommunications companies, in exchange for positive coverage on a Bezeq-owned news site called Walla.

Observers say Netanyahu may be hoping a win could help him in the eyes of the law. There is also a chance he could pass a law in the future that would essentially protect him from standing trial.

An Israeli watchdog group last week also found a network of hundreds of social media bots working to boost Netanyahu on social media, though Israeli researchers at Ben Gurion University said the data does not prove a coordinated effort to influence election results.

Gantz has also defended himself from scandal in the past.

In February, an Israeli-American woman named Navarone Jacobs acccused Gantz of exposing himself to her 40 years ago when she was 14 years old. Gantz strongly denied the allegations and filed a half million shekel lawsuit against the woman for claims he called “blood libel.”

Gantz also chaired a security and tech company called The Fifth Dimension, which shut down after one of its key financial backers, a Russian oligarch named Viktor Vekselberg, who was sanctioned by the US in 2018.

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