Netanyahu and Lapid.
(photo credit: MARC ISRAEL SELLEM/THE JERUSALEM POST)
The Israel Police have repeatedly said Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu is not a suspect in the so-called “submarine affair.” But that will soon change, his former finance minister, Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid, said on Monday.
Netanyahu’s lawyer and confidant David Shimron is a suspect in the investigation of Israel’s acquisition of three German-made submarines and naval vessels, termed Case 3000.
But Netanyahu has denied any connection to the case or any knowledge of Shimron’s role in the affair.
“It’s unavoidable that the prime minister will be investigated in the submarines case,” Lapid told 1,000 Yesh Atid activists at his party’s annual convention at the Tel Aviv Fairgrounds.
“I can’t go into detail, because I gave evidence. But I don’t see any other option. We deserve answers.”
Lapid blasted Netanyahu for his attack over the weekend against Police Inspector-General Roni Alsheich.
“The prime minister has lost all sense of restraint,” Lapid said. “In a proper functioning state, the prime minister doesn’t threaten the chief of police” Lapid promised the Yesh Atid activists – who included 149 branch heads, mayors and heads of regional authorities – that he would pass term limits for prime ministers.
“What we’re seeing is the result of four terms in office.
It’s what happens after too long in power,” Lapid said. “That’s why the first thing we’ll do in this coming Knesset session next week is propose our bill to limit the prime minister to two terms. Finance Minister [Moshe] Kahlon said he would support any proposal which would limit the prime ministership to two terms. So here we’re proposing a law. Politics isn’t a job, it’s a mission.”
Lapid said his party would vigorously oppose a bill sponsored by Likud MK David Amsalem.
That legislation, which would prevent sitting prime ministers from being investigated, is expected to be voted on by the Ministerial Committee on Legislation on Sunday.
Amsalem and United Torah Judaism MK Moshe Gafni will propose another bill that would require the police comptroller to be independent and no longer be a police officer serving under the inspector-general.
Amsalem said that had such a change been made earlier, the police would not have been able to appoint political strategist Lior Chorev as an adviser.
“The current situation is not proper,” Amsalem said. “The comptroller must be independent and must not be a man in uniform.”
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