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Israel’s Benjamin Netanyahu in tense Cabinet meeting amid ‘bribery’ scandal

Calls have already been made by party members for him to be replaced as leader as he faces indictment.

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Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads the weekly cabinet meeting (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads the weekly cabinet meeting (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu heads the weekly cabinet meeting (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu has led a noticeably tense Cabinet meeting, his first since Israel’s attorney general announced he will be indicted for bribery, fraud and breach of trust.

Mr Netanyahu did not mention the looming indictment during Sunday’s weekly meeting.

Instead, he was projecting an attitude of business as usual, discussing Iranian belligerency, threats from Gaza and domestic affairs.

His typically talkative ministers have remained noticeably silent.

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Benjamin Netanyahu (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

Benjamin Netanyahu (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

AP/PA Images

Benjamin Netanyahu (Sebastian Scheiner/AP)

This has been their first public appearances since the attorney general’s announcement on Thursday.

Mr Netanyahu’s party has long pledged loyalty to its leader.

But calls have been made within the party for an immediate primary vote to replace him, sowing the first seeds of rebellion.

Replacing Mr Netanyahu offers perhaps the most likely option of preventing a looming third election within a year.

PA