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Legal Decision Paves Way for Expected Rejection of Netanyahu Immunity Request

A parliamentary legal adviser is expected to rule on Sunday that the speaker of Israel’s legislature cannot block the formation of a committee to determine the fate of Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s immunity request. Netanyahu had reportedly been hoping to prevent the committee’s formation until after the March 2 elections as a majority of lawmakers oppose shielding him from prosecution in three criminal cases. Accordingly, the still-unformed but now-anticipated committee is expected to reject his immunity request, which, in turn, will pave the way for the attorney general to formally file indictments against Netanyahu with the courts. In this eventuality, the Supreme Court would be liable to settle the raging debate over whether Netanyahu can legally form a new coalition should he be in a position to do so after the upcoming vote. If not, then this would effectively disqualify the prime minister from running in March from the helm of the Likud. It would also mean that his prospective trial would be pushed up to an earlier date.