By Nathan Morley
The opening of the trial marks the first time in Israel's history that a sitting prime minister is facing criminal trial and comes just a week after Netanyahu was sworn-in for a fifth term.
Hundreds rallied on the pavement outside the courthouse, some showing support, whilst others expressed their dissatisfaction.
Netanyahu faces charges of bribery, fraud and breach of trust in three separate cases. In one case, he allegedly took bribes from a former control-holder of Bezeq, a large national telecom company.
In the first hour-long hearing at Jerusalem District Court, defence lawyers asked for a six-month delay in the proceedings, saying they need to examine 300 files of evidence and needed additional time to prepare.
The prosecution objected, saying the defence team had more than a year to prepare and examine the evidence,
The judges are expected give a decision this week.