Former Head of the Diplomatic-Security Division of the Israeli Defence Ministry Amos Gilad revealed that Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu approved the sale of advanced German submarines to Egypt, Israeli TV Channel 13 reported yesterday.
This was revealed while Gilad was being questioned by police about Netanyahu’s corruption case 3000, noting he himself stood against the sale because this poses a danger to Israel.
When Gilad asked Christoph Heusgen, adviser to German Chancellor Angela Merkel, about the issue, he was told that Netanyahu had given his approval.
In response, the Chairman of the Israeli party Kahol Lavan Benny Gantz, called for establishing an official state commission of inquiry to investigate Netanyahu, Haaretz reported.
Gantz said Netanyahu had denied giving such approval and said he was never asked about it, Haaretz added. However, Netanyahu’s office said that it was a “fruitless and desperate to resuscitate an affair that has died.”
Channel 13 revealed last week that Netanyahu and one of his cousins once owned shares in the German firm which manufactures the submarines.
According to Haaretz, Gantz said that Netanyahu made 16 million shekels ($4.4 million) from the submarine deal, and said: “These are things that cannot be comprehended, unreasonable and I hope untrue.”
He also said that Netanyahu, “who has three indictments against him and some backhanded deal, made money for himself at the expense of [Israel’s] security. … I am sorry that he has lost his way.”
Netanyahu is entangled in four political scandals: Case 1000 which involves allegations that the PM and his wife accepted illegal gifts from businessmen; Case 2000 which accuses Netanyahu of attempting to buy favourable newspaper coverage; Case 3000, also known as the “submarine scandal”; and Case 4000, in which a close associate of Netanyahu is suspected of providing confidential information to Israel’s largest telecoms company.
The prime minister’s wife, Sara Netanyahu, has also been accused of using public funds for private expenditure in the prime minister’s households. Only 20 per cent of respondents to a survey last year believed she is innocent.