Nearly half of Israel's electorate believe the country's police, who say they have gathered evidence against Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and called for him to be charged with bribery, a poll showed on Wednesday.
Earlier this week, Netanyahu told Likud lawmakers in a closed-door meeting that the issue of applying Israeli sovereignty to the West Bank had been discussed with U.S. officials.
"I read the recommendations report", Netanyahu said, referring to a lengthy summary of the evidence law enforcement investigators had amassed against him. The final decision on whether or not to bring charges against Netanyahu lies with Israeli attorney general Avichai Mandelblit.
"We were guided exclusively by professional considerations", he said.
Responding to criticism that he would be hesitant to file charges against Netanyahu - the two are long-time confidants, with Mandelblit once having served as Netanyahu's cabinet secretary - Mandel said he would be able to maintain his professionalism, although it will not be a pleasant task.
Finance Minister Moshe Kahlon, whose Kulanu party is crucial to Netanyahu's government, urged on Facebook that the attacks on police cease, saying the legal system should be allowed to operate "without pressure, from neither right nor left".
Avraham Diskin, a political science professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, said none of Netanyahu's coalition partners had any incentive to rock the boat. "Maybe individuals will defect", Diskin said. The total value of the gifts received between 2007 and 2016 is estimated at around one million shekels (229,000 euros, $283,000), according to police.
In the Channel 10 poll, 34% said they believe Netanyahu's claim that the police are part of a conspiracy to topple him, and 53% said they do not believe the claim. "Someone with such serious accusations against them, many of which he does not even deny, can not continue to serve as prime minister and uphold their responsibility for the security and well-being of Israel's citizens", Lapid said, noting that he agreed to testify against Netanyahu because it was the right thing to do, not for personal gain.
"There is a very long process ahead, and we believe it will stop before any indictment", Ben Zur said.
In an emailed statement on Tuesday, after the police recommendations were made public, a spokesman for Packer said: "There is no allegation of wrongdoing on Mr Packer's behalf". Culture and Sport Minister Miri Regev said she was "not excited" by the police recommendations and urged patience while the attorney general reviews the case.
The second case, Case 2000, also alleges "bribery, fraud and breach of trust by the prime minister" relating to his dealings with Arnon Mozes, the publisher of the biggest-selling Israeli newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.
Netanyahu and Mozes, police said, discussed ways of slowing the growth of a rival newspaper, Israel Hayom, "through legislation and other means".
Police recommended indicting Milchan and the publisher, Arnon Moses, with bribery as well, the statement said.