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Will Complete Term, Lead Likud to ‘Big Victory’

Embattled Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu says he will finish out the last two years of his term and lead his conservative Likud party to a “big victory” in 2019.

Netanyahu made the remarks to reporters Tuesday while in Buenos Aires, The Jerusalem Post reported.

“I don’t intend on calling new elections,” Netanyahu said, calling reports he would resign amid two corruption cases “nonsense.”

The prime minister reportedly believes he and his wife, Sara, who also is the focus of one of the probes, have large support with some of the public.

When a reporter asked whether that belief might encourage him to call elections early in an effort to strengthen his hand and increase his legitimacy in light of the investigations, Netanyahu said, “I have learned something in my short term in politics — don’t give up on two years so easily.”

One of the corruption cases involves gifts the family reportedly were given by businessmen and misuse of state funds for personal use. The other involves reported attempts by the prime minister to get favorable news coverage.

Israel’s attorney general last week said he is considering moving ahead with criminal charges against Sara Netanyahu.

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