Israeli Prime Minister interrogated amid corruption allegations

According to local reports, the questioning by senior police investigators began on Monday evening and is expected last several hours

Israeli Prime Minister interrogated amid corruption allegations

File photo, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, 25-Dec-2016. Image: Dan Balilty AP/Press Association Images

Police are reportedly questioning Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu at his official residence in Jerusalem over allegations of corruption. 

Local media outlets are reporting that the investigation stems from suspicions Mr. Netanyahu inappropriately received expensive gifts from two businessmen. 

According to local reports, the questioning by senior police investigators began on Monday evening and is expected last several hours. 

Mr Netanyahu has called the allegations “baseless” and told his ruling Likud faction earlier in the day that they had nothing to fear. 

"We've been paying attention to reports in the media, we are hearing the celebratory mood and the atmosphere in the television studios and the corridors of the opposition, and I would like to tell them; stop with the celebrations, don't rush," he said. "There won't be anything because there is nothing." 

A black screen was erected outside the heavily guarded residence earlier in the afternoon in apparent anticipation of the investigator’s arrival. 

Israel’s Haaretz newspaper - alongside a number of other news outlets - has reported that the investigation relates to gifts allegedly received from businessmen at home and abroad and that Mr Netanyahu is the central suspect in a second investigation that also involves family members. 

Haaretz reports that the alleged gifts may be worth "hundreds of thousands of shekels." 

One Israeli New Shekel equates to around €0.25c.

Netanyahu, 67, is currently in his fourth term as prime minister and will become Israel's longest-serving leader if he stays in office until the end of next year. 

He and his wife have weathered several scandals over the years, including investigations into the misuse of state funds. 

Israel's Justice Ministry and police have declined to comment on the media reports with the Netanyahu family denying any wrongdoing.