Israeli Defence Minister Moshe Yaalon speaks at the Munich Security Conference in Munich, Germany, February 14, 2016.
(photo credit: REUTERS)
Blue and White leaders escalated their attacks on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Wednesday regarding his role in the submarine scandal.
The scandal, also known as Case 3000, involves alleged bribery and wrongdoing in the purchase of the vessels from Germany. Several people close to Netanyahu have been embroiled in the affair, including his lawyer and cousin David Shimron. In recent days, it has come to light that Netanyahu sold NIS 16 million of company stock related to the affair, though he has said repeatedly that he has denied making money on the deal.
“The issue is so important that it could end up that it was betrayal,” Blue and White’s number three candidate Moshe Ya’alon told KAN Radio, suggesting that the suspicion that Netanyahu betrayed the state is preventing Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit from dealing with the issue.
The Likud responded that “Ya’alon’s use of the word 'traitor' for the prime minister crosses a dangerous redline” and proves that Blue and White leaders had "lost their marbles" in a way that shows they would not be able to handle Iran.
At a meeting of Blue and White’s Knesset candidates in Tel Aviv, party leader Benny Gantz said the submarine affair must be checked comprehensively.
“It is very worrying that on the most important issues, people close to the top of the regime, and I hope not the top of the regime itself, were involved in things that are so grave – corruption, breach of trust and bribery,” he said. “We can’t let such things happen. It must be investigated by the relevant authorities. The truth must come to light. It is no less than a security and strategic drama.”
In an interview with Army Radio, former prime minister Ehud Barak, who was defense minister when one of the submarines was purchased, said Netanyahu did not have the authority to decide on buying the vessels on his own.
“He must be questioned under caution in the affair,” Barak said.
The Likud responded to Barak that “all the information about the submarines was checked by the police and prosecution, which decided he was not involved in any wrongdoing.”
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