Israel's caretaker parliament Monday approved putting together a committee to decide whether Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu should be immune from prosecution for alleged corruption.
The committee must decide whether to send the question of immunity to the entire Knesset. Most members of the current parliament are Netanyahu opponents who are likely to reject his immunity appeal.
Netanyahu has been indicted on several charges, including allegations of accepting lavish gifts and trading political favors for positive news coverage. He calls himself the victim of a political witch hunt.
A corruption trial cannot begin until the immunity question is settled. Netanyahu had been banking on winning a majority in parliament in the March elections, which would then be likely to give him the immunity he seeks.
The March election will be the third time in a year in which Netanyahu and opposition leader Benny Gantz will face off. Neither was able to get enough support from parliament to form a government after two previous elections.
Source : VOA