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Justice minister Sa’ar says he has okayed potential probe of submarine scandal

In this August 26, 2012 photo, then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) speaks to then-Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar as they arrive at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Uriel Sinai/Getty Images, Pool, File)
In this August 26, 2012 photo, then-Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu (left) speaks to then-Education Minister Gideon Sa'ar as they arrive at the weekly cabinet meeting in Jerusalem. (AP Photo/Uriel Sinai/Getty Images, Pool, File)

Justice Minister Gideon Sa’ar tells the Kan public broadcaster that he has agreed with Defense Minister Benny Gantz’s demand to open a governmental commission of inquiry into the so-called “Submarine Affair,” a massive corruption case that has ensnared a number of close associates of Benjamin Netanyahu, though not the former prime minister himself.

The green light for the move has been approved by Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, Sa’ar says.

Gantz is therefore now free to bring the formation of the commission before the cabinet for approval.

The submarine affair, also known as Case 3000, revolves around allegations of a massive bribery scheme in Israel’s multi-billion shekel purchase of naval vessels 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 Netanyahu without consulting or notifying then-defense minister Moshe Ya’alon and then-IDF chief of staff Benny Gantz. Israel had long been granted an unofficial veto over such sales by Germany.

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