Parliament Votes Against Opening Investigation Into Submarine Acquisition Suspicions
The parliamentary committee for government oversight convened yesterday to discuss whether to submit an official demand to Israel’s state comptroller, requesting that he open an investigation into Israel’s acquisition of German-built submarines and navy ships. Several indictments of bribery and money laundering have already been served by state prosecution against former navy chiefs and government officials, after it was revealed in 2016 that the acquisition deals for three submarines and four corvettes were swayed in the German-based ThyssenKrupp company’s favor by the Israeli suspects, in order to benefit the company’s local representatives. Among the indicted are Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu’s cousin and lawyer, who helped represent the German shipyard in Israel, and Netanyahu’s former chief of staff. During the recent elections, the Blue and White party demanded that Netanyahu himself be interrogated, and accused the prime minister of trading Israel’s security for his and his friends’ personal gain, after it was also revealed that Netanyahu permitted Germany to sell state-of-the-art submarines to Egypt without notifying or consulting security officials or his own defense minister. Despite these accusations, on Monday the Blue and White representative in the oversight committee voted down the proposal to open an investigation into the matter, so as not to upset the party’s new coalition partner – Netanyahu.