On Sunday, Israeli Cabinet members passed a plan that would let Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu keep the $270,000 payment he received from a relative to cover his legal costs while he defends himself against accusations of corruption.
The measure is a component of the incoming Netanyahu administration’s plan to reform Israel’s legal system.
The idea has been the subject of the most vocal protests in years in Israel for more than two months.
Netanyahu has spent nearly three years in court facing accusations of fraud, betrayal of trust, and taking bribes.
He claims the allegations result from a “witch hunt” by the media, law enforcement, and judicial systems, and he denies any misconduct.
Netanyahu was required to repay the money supplied by a deceased cousin to cover his and his wife Sara’s legal costs by Israel’s highest court last year.
Last week, when Sara Netanyahu was getting her hair done, protesters gathered outside the salon and decided to target her.
She was escorted away from the jeering throng and out of the salon by dozens of police officers.
A measure allowing public officials to take donations for legal or medical expenses was adopted by the Ministerial Committee for Legislation on Sunday, despite the attorney general of the nation’s outspoken opposition that it would encourage corruption.
Bills to limit the Supreme Court’s judicial review authority and grant parliament the power to override high court judgments were also advanced by a Knesset, the Israeli parliament committee.
These measures, according to Netanyahu’s backers, are necessary to lessen the influence of judges who are not elected.
But, opponents claim that they will do away with checks and balances, consolidate power with the governing majority, and discredit the Supreme Court.
Additionally, they claim that Netanyahu has a conflict of interest because he is an accused criminal.
This legislation will now be presented to the legislature for the first three votes necessary to pass them into law.