Bennett defends attorney general against bias claims

Jewish Home leader Naftali Bennett is defending Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit in the probe of Netanyahu.

Mandelblit is “straight, strong, and impartial,” says Bennett at the start of the weekly faction meeting.

His comments come as left-wing activists are calling on Mandelblit — a former cabinet secretary for Netanyahu — to recuse himself in the investigations against the premier.

The education minister also alludes to the upcoming inauguration of US president-elect Donald Trump, reiterating that there are new diplomatic opportunities that Israel must seize in the coming weeks.

“For the first time in 50 years, we are being asked what we want,” says Bennett, apparently referring to the new US administration.

He presents two alternatives: annexation of Area C in the West Bank or a Palestinian state on the 1967 lines.

Bennett asserts that there will be no Palestinian state.

“This will also be the government’s position,” he says.

The minister also rejects an Arabic-language campaign by ex-generals urging Israel to separate from the Palestinians, which was launched on Sunday.

“The Israeli public understands that a Palestinian state will flood us with refugees,” he says.

— Marissa Newman

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