JERUSALEM    -     Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s long-awaited pre-indictment hearing on corruption charges began Wednesday in Jerusalem, as a jittery political world eagerly sought clarity on his legal standing amid the stalemate that followed the country’s second inconclusive election of the year. Netanyahu is currently struggling to prolong his lengthy rule by building a unity government with his primary opponents, the centrist Blue and White party, who refuse to partner with him because of the serious crimes of which he is suspected. Israel’s attorney general has recommended charging Netanyahu with bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases. Netanyahu has denied wrongdoing, calling them part of a media-orchestrated witch hunt. The allegations against him include suspicions that he accepted hundreds of thousands of dollars of champagne and cigars from billionaire friends, offered a critical publisher legislation that would weaken his paper’s main rival in return for softer treatment and allegedly used his influence to help a wealthy telecom magnate in exchange for favorable coverage on a popular news site. Netanyahu has long promised he’d clear his name in the hearing. A team of his lawyers arrived at the Justice Ministry in Jerusalem to argue that all charges should be dropped.