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Netanyahu jokes with Trump about corruption probe: 'I hope they don't open an investigation on us'

Adam Forrest

Israeli prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu appeared to mock the investigations he and his close ally Donald Trump have faced in recent months during a joke shared with the US president.

Mr Trump was joined by Mr Netanyahu at the White House on Monday, where he signed a proclamation recognising Israel ’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights , a reversal of longstanding US policy.

Although the Mueller probe has come to an end, the prime minister faces prosecution back home after his country’s attorney general said he plans to indict Mr Netanyahu over claims he received illegal gifts.

Ridiculing the investigations, Mr Netanyahu said: “Mr President, I have to tell you that I brought you a case of the finest wine from Golan. I understand you’re not a great wine drinker, but could I give it to your staff?

After Mr Trump nodded, the Israeli leader joked: “I hope they don’t open an investigation on us.”

The international community has long recognised the 700 square miles of territory of the Golan Heights as “occupied” by Israel.

Praising Mr Trump for shifting Washington’s position, Mr Netanyahu told the American leader: “You’ve always been there, including today, and I thank you … Israel has never had a better friend than the US president.”

The US president handed the pen over to the prime minister after the signing ceremony.

“This was a long time in the making … [it] should have taken place many decades ago,” he said.