Israel passes law that critics say is meant to shield PM

Israel's parliament has passed legislation ending a police practice of recommending indictments, a bill pushed by Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's party as he faces corruption allegations.

The so-called "recommendations bill" passed early Thursday after days of filibuster. It stops police from recommending to prosecutors whether to indict suspects upon completing their investigations and also aims to stem media leaks.

Supporters say it's needed to protect citizens who are investigated but never charged. Critics say it muzzles police.

Netanyahu has been questioned in two cases, and police say they suspect him of being involved in bribery, fraud and breach of trust. Netanyahu denies wrongdoing calling the accusations a politically motivated witch hunt.

The law was watered down after an uproar and does not apply to current investigations including those concerning Netanyahu.