Gantz to Open Probe Into Submarine Affair
Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz soon will be announcing the formation of a special investigative committee to look into the allegedly corrupt dealings between the Israeli Navy and the German shipyard Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft, Israel’s Channel 12 News reported Wednesday. The launching of a Defense Ministry inquiry into the delicate affair, which already has seen the indictment of several high-ranking military and governmental officials, is sure to further rock the already strained relationship between Gantz and his government coalition partner Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu, who now for the first time could be subpoenaed and interrogated on the matter. Gantz’s pending announcement is widely seen as a means of leveraging Netanyahu into keeping his word and ensuring that Gantz will enter the Prime Minister’s Office at the agreed-upon date. According to the already served indictments, military personnel, security advisers, middlemen and Netanyahu’s senior aides either paid or received massive bribes in a plot to purchase unnecessary submarines and other vessels from the German shipyard. While Netanyahu was not named as a suspect in the case, many in the military and the Defense Ministry believe it would have been impossible for the prime minister to be unaware of the matter.