Defense Minister, Alternate Prime Minister and Blue and White leader Benny Gantz on Thursday floated the idea to establish a Defense Ministry committee to investigate the so-called “Submarine Affair.”He was referring to an ongoing scandal involving a multi-billion submarine deal with Germany’s Thyssenkrupp AG conglomerate in 2016, also dubbed Case 3000, in which Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu allegedly played a role.Prosecutors allege that senior Israeli officials were bribed to advocate for the purchase of submarines and military boats from Thyssenkrupp. The scandal involves the sale of Dolphin-class submarines and anti-submarine warships by Germany to Egypt, allegedly approved by Netanyahu without informing the Defense Ministry.“The subject of the submarines is serious. It deserves to be investigated,” Gantz told Ynet. “What can be done within the defense establishment is limited to what can be done within the defense establishment. Nevertheless, I am familiar with the section that allows me to set up an investigation within the Defense Ministry.”The Likud responded angrily to Gantz’s comments. “Everyone knows that the Submarine Affair was meticulously scanned by all law enforcement agencies, even those known for their hostility to Prime Minister Netanyahu, that even they were forced to state that the allegations amounted to nothing,” the Likud said. “It’s time for Gantz to work for the citizens and not for the polls.”Also on Thursday, the High Court of Justice heard a petition by the Movement for Quality Government in Israel, asking that it compel Attorney-General Avichai Mandelblit to reverse his decision not to treat Netanyahu as a suspect in Case 3000. Although the premier was questioned by police investigators, he was considered a witness and not a suspect.Nevertheless, reports persist that Netanyahu was well aware of the submarine deal negotiated by some of his closest associates. Among those already implicated in the deal are lawyer David Shimron, a confidante and cousin of Netanyahu’s, David Sharan, a former chief of staff in the Prime Minister’s Office, and Avriel Bar-Yosef, a former deputy national security adviser – all of whom are expected to be indicted by Mandelblit.Mandelblit ruled, however, that there was no reason to investigate allegations that Netanyahu profited from the purchase of submarines from ThyssenKrupp. He concluded that there is no proof that Netanyahu knew about the scheme, and that at most, he pushed for buying the vessels under suspicious circumstances.Still, new evidence indicates that Netanyahu may have done more than push. In an affidavit uncovered by Channel 12, Maj.-Gen. (ret.) Dan Harel, a former director-general of the Defense Ministry, testified that Netanyahu had applied unusual pressure to buy a seventh submarine from ThyssenKrupp, allegedly “pounding his fist on the table” to demand that the sale go through.The Movement for Quality Government demanded that Mandelblit probe who leaked the affidavit delivered to the court in a sealed folder. “An investigation should be immediately opened to see who is trying to disrupt and sabotage an investigation meant to expose the biggest corruption scandal in Israeli history,” said the movement’s head Eliad Shraga.A statement from the Prime Minister’s Office claimed that the new revelation had been “recycled,” since Harel had previously been questioned and “his testimony was found to have no substance.” Although a police investigation into the case concluded in February, Netanyahu’s detractors continue to argue that the prime minister was directly involved in the corrupt deal, and at the very least, faced a conflict of interest.This is not a witch-hunt against Netanyahu but rather a genuine attempt to discover the truth. Israel needs to get to the bottom of whatever happened with the sale of submarines and ensure that the defense establishment – where some of the most sensitive decisions regarding the country’s fate are made – has not been tainted. The cloud over the sale cannot be allowed to remain. Israelis need to know that these decisions are pure.The only way to really find out is to launch a thorough investigation into the Submarine Affair and, as Gantz has proposed, into Netanyahu’s conduct as well.