Israel cabinet green-lights submarine corruption probe

Israel cabinet green-lights submarine corruption probe
An inquiry into a 2012 naval procurement deal has been launched by the Israeli cabinet, which threatens to create serious problems for former PM Benjamin Netanyahu.
2 min read
Netanyahu has not been directly accused of wrongdoing [Getty]

Israel's cabinet Sunday voted to establish a formal inquiry into a 2012 naval procurement deal that has been marred by corruption allegations implicating close associates of former premier Benjamin Netanyahu

Netanyahu has not personally been accused of wrongdoing in the so-called "submarine affair", which concerns a multi-billion shekel deal to acquire naval vessels from the German industrial giant Thyssenkrupp.  

Prime Minister Naftali Bennett, who ousted Netanyahu in June, abstained in the vote setting up the inquiry, reportedly citing concerns it would interfere with military procurement.

In a tweet before cabinet approved the probe, Foreign Minister Yair Lapid called the submarine affair "the most serious security corruption case in the history of Israel.

"It is necessary to turn over every stone to reach the truth."

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Defence Minister Benny Gantz, also a strong supporter of the probe, tweeted after the vote that the inquiry was a "top security need" for the nation. 

Several people have already been charged in the case. 

The newly established commission will look at the procurement process but will not investigate defendants currently on trial. 

This month, Gantz announced a separate agreement to buy three further submarines from Thyssenkrupp in a 10 billion shekel (over three billion dollar) deal.