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Gantz to bring formation of submarines probe to cabinet vote Sunday

Judah Ari Gross is The Times of Israel's military correspondent.

Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, then IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, left, and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon attend a ceremony marking the arrival of INS Tanin, a Dolphin AIP class submarine, to a naval base in the northern city of Haifa, September 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Amir Cohen, Pool)
Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, center, then IDF Chief of Staff Benny Gantz, left, and Defense Minister Moshe Ya'alon attend a ceremony marking the arrival of INS Tanin, a Dolphin AIP class submarine, to a naval base in the northern city of Haifa, September 23, 2014. (AP Photo/Amir Cohen, Pool)

Defense Minister Benny Gantz intends to call for a vote on the formation of a state inquiry into the so-called submarine affair at the cabinet meeting on Sunday, his office says.

Gantz announced his plan to propose such an investigation on Saturday night, sparking a minor political controversy.

The defense minister’s office says he has submitted initial drafts of his proposal to the Justice and Finance ministries for review and upon receiving their comments, he plans to bring the matter to a vote by the government.

“Gantz intends to submit his proposal to the government ahead of the cabinet meeting on Sunday, after submitting and receiving feedback from the relevant offices,” his spokesperson says.

The submarine affair, known as Case 3000, 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. The scandal also involved the sale of two Dolphin-class submarines and two anti-submarine warships by Germany to Egypt, allegedly approved by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu without consulting or notifying then-defense minister Moshe Ya’alon and then-IDF chief of staff Gantz. Israel had long been granted an unofficial veto over such sales by Germany.

 

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