Netanyahu was indicted in November on charges of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust over allegations that he granted state favors worth hundreds of millions of dollars to Israeli media barons in return for gifts and favorable coverage.
The Palestinians immediately condemned the move as a campaign tactic ahead of the March 2 vote, created to please nationalist voters who could prove crucial to the prime minister's political survival.
Netanyahu said in an interview with Israel's Army Radio Tuesday that he doesn't think the trial will prevent him from performing his duties as prime minister, stressing that he has the ability to defend himself in court and run the country simultaneously.
The first two elections were largely a referendum on Netanyahu, and the third is expected to be no different.
Gantz said Monday he would work to mend ties with the U.S. Democratic Party if he wins the election. The months leading up to the campaign have been marked by other bombshells, including the unveiling of President Donald Trump's Mideast plan and the setting of a date for the beginning of Netanyahu's corruption trial, which have not dramatically affected opinion polls.
Law enforcement and state prosecution officials on Thursday night directed severe criticism at Acting State Attorney Dan Eldad over his speedy decision to order a criminal probe into a cybersecurity firm that was once headed by Blue and White party chief Benny Gantz.
Two national elections a year ago were largely a referendum on Netanyahu, and the third is expected to be no different. The US and Israeli administrations are still in the process of establishing a joint committee to map out Israel's annexation of parts of the West Bank, in accordance with the Trump plan. "If he is a good president for the United States", then that person would be a "good president for the state of Israel as well".
Gantz and his running mate Yair Lapid addressed a crowd of around 1,000 mostly English speakers at an event late Monday in Tel Aviv.
Lapid said that Israel faces the task of a "rehabilitation" of ties with the Democrats and with American Jewry in general. But earlier in the day, amid reports that a criminal probe was imminent, he denied any wrongdoing.
Israeli prosecutors say they are opening a criminal investigation into the failed start-up of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's challenger, shaking up what has already been a tumultuous election campaign.
Pre-election polls indicate that neither Gantz nor Netanyahu has a clear path to a parliamentary majority.