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Cabinet slated to vote next week on establishing inquiry into submarine scandal

Israelis protest against then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside a court hearing on the submarine affair, outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, on January 25, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)
Israelis protest against then-prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu outside a court hearing on the submarine affair, outside the Supreme Court in Jerusalem, on January 25, 2021. (Olivier Fitoussi/Flash90)

Cabinet ministers are expected to vote on Sunday on the establishment of a state commission of inquiry into the so-called “Submarine Affair,” according to a release of the cabinet meeting’s schedule.

The vote was originally slated to be held this past Sunday, but was removed from the agenda at the last minute.

Several ministers have long promised to investigate a murky deal between Israel and a German shipbuilder for naval vessels. The scandal revolves around allegations of a massive bribery scheme in Israel’s multi-billion-shekel purchase of naval vessels — submarines and large missile ships — from German shipbuilder Thyssenkrupp.

Several of those involved in the agreement have been indicted over the affair, including close confidants of former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who called for the procurement, though not the ex-premier himself.

Reports indicated that the vote this week was delayed due to the government’s ongoing negotiations to purchase submarines from Germany, in a deal that advanced earlier this week. Other reports suggested the delay was tied to the ongoing plea deal talks between Netanyahu and state prosecutors.

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