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Netanyahu Denies Wrongdoing in Graft Probe

JERUSALEM (AFP) – Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu denied any wrongdoing Monday ahead of his expected questioning by police in a graft probe, telling his political opponents to put any “celebrations” on hold.

“We hear all the media reports. We see and hear the festive spirit and atmosphere in television studios and in the corridors of the opposition,” Netanyahu told lawmakers from his Likud party, according to a video posted to his Facebook page.

 “I want to tell them to wait for the celebrations. Do not rush. I told you and I repeat: There will be nothing because there is nothing. You will continue to inflate hot air balloons and we will continue to lead the state of Israel.”

Israeli police were expected to question Netanyahu on Monday over whether he illegally accepted gifts from wealthy supporters, media reports said, in a probe shaking the country’s political scene.

The long-running inquiry has looked into whether Israeli and foreign businessmen have offered gifts worth tens of thousands of dollars as well as another unspecified issue, according to the reports.

There were reports that the questioning was to take place at 7:00 pm (1700 GMT) at his residence in central Jerusalem. Police have declined to comment.

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