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Likud members gear up to go to court to support Netanyahu in graft trial hearing

Members of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s Likud party are gearing up to accompany the premier to the Jerusalem District Court tomorrow morning, when a key hearing will take place in his corruption trial.

After repeated delays, the hearing will discuss the defense’s response to the indictment in the three cases. It is the second hearing Netanyahu must appear for in person, and he will be required to verbally confirm the defense filed by his lawyers.

The Kan public broadcaster has posted a screenshot of an internal Likud WhatsApp group, showing Boris Aplichuk — who on Thursday was reserved a spot on the party’s slate in the upcoming election — saying it is “our duty to support [Netanyahu] and show him love.”

“We will be there before he comes,” he writes.

In the first hearing of the trial last May — the previous time Netanyahu was required to attend — most of the party’s lawmakers showed up and the premier made a long, fiery speech lambasting the justice system and saying the charges are “fabricated.”

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivers a statement before entering a courtroom at the Jerusalem District Court on May 24, 2020, for the start of his corruption trial. Among those alongside him from left are Likud MKs and ministers Gadi Yevarkan, Amir Ohana, Miri Regev, Nir Barkat, Israel Katz, Tzachi Hanegbi, Yoav Gallant and David Amsalem. (Yonathan Sindel/Pool/AFP)
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