AP NEWS

Hamas leader: Indicting Israeli PM ‘raises morale’

November 23, 2019
FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an extended faction meeting of the right-wing bloc members at the Knesset, in Jerusalem. Israel’s attorney general has formally charged Netanyahu in a series of corruption scandals. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit issued an indictment Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, charging Netanyahu with fraud, breach of trust and bribery. Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and said he is a victim of a witch hunt. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)
FILE - In this Wednesday, Nov. 20, 2019 file photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu speaks during an extended faction meeting of the right-wing bloc members at the Knesset, in Jerusalem. Israel’s attorney general has formally charged Netanyahu in a series of corruption scandals. Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit issued an indictment Thursday, Nov. 21, 2019, charging Netanyahu with fraud, breach of trust and bribery. Netanyahu has denied any wrongdoing and said he is a victim of a witch hunt. (AP Photo/Oded Balilty, File)

RAFAH, Gaza Strip (AP) — The leader of the militant Hamas group says the corruption indictment of Israeli prime minister raises the Palestinian people’s morale.

Ismail Haniyeh told reporters in Rafah in southern Gaza Strip on Saturday that serious corruption charges against Benjamin Netanyahu were a sign “of more steadfastness” for the Palestinians.

The leader of the group that controls Gaza also said the indictment means more “resistance, both popular and armed.”

On Thursday, Israel’s Attorney General indicted Netanyahu for fraud, breach of trust and accepting bribes, making him the first sitting premier to be charged with a crime.

The longest-serving Israeli leader is scrambling after two inconclusive elections this year and possibly an unprecedented third national vote early next year.

The Islamist Hamas group won the 2006 Palestinian legislative polls, which were the last.