JERUSALEM (AP)--A defiant Ariel Sharon brushed off calls to resign Thursday, vowing to complete his term despite a burgeoning bribery scandal. But even a top official from his own party said Sharon's days as prime minister may be numbered. Speaking publicly for the first time since a real estate developer was indicted Wednesday on charges of bribing Sharon with $690,000, Sharon told a youth gathering from the ruling Likud Party that he intended to stay. ``I arrived here as prime minister and as chairman of the Likud, a position I plan to fill for many more years, until 2007 at least,'' Sharon told the cheering youths, referring to the date of the next scheduled election. Sharon has battled back from political adversity before. In 1983, he was forced to resign as defense minister when a government inquiry found him indirectly responsible for the deaths of hundreds of Palestinians in Beirut refugee camps at the hands of Israel's allies in a Christian militia. Justice Ministry officials said they would decide within weeks or months whether to indict Sharon for accepting bribes. Charges would only be filed if prosecutors are convinced he had criminal intent in taking the money. If indicted, legal precedent says Sharon would have to suspend himself until the end of proceedings, a prospect those close to him are coming to terms with. ``If the prime minister is indicted, there is no doubt he will have to resign,'' Education Minister Limor Livnat told Israel Radio. But there is mounting pressure on Sharon to step down now. A Dahaf Institute poll published in the Yediot Ahronot daily on Thursday found 49 percent of Israelis think Sharon should resign or suspend himself now; 38 percent said he should remain premier. The poll of 504 people had a margin of error of 4.4 percent. The focus of the scandal is the so-called ``Greek Island Affair,'' in which businessman David Appel allegedly paid Sharon's son Gilad money so Sharon, then foreign minister, would use his influence to help Appel promote a tourism project in Greece in 1999. Despite a flurry of criticism, Sharon said he would not step down. ``I am not about to resign. I emphasize, I am not about to resign. I am busy with work from morning to night, and I do not intend to make time for issues that are under investigation,'' Sharon told Yediot. Sharon's aides confirmed the remarks. Sharon said the burgeoning scandal would not deflect his attention from what he considers to be more pressing issues, including a hearing at the world court in The Hague, Netherlands, on the legality of a barrier Israel is building in the West Bank. Sharon confidant Eyal Arad said the scandal would not affect the prime minister's ability to carry out his duties. ``Prime minister is not just any other job. He has to take life and death decisions on a daily basis,'' Arad told Channel Two TV. ``But he has been under fire before, not imaginary but real fire, and he knows how to function in difficult circumstances,'' Arad said, referring to Sharon's days as an army general.