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Netanyahu receives warning from panel probing submarine purchase

June 24, 2024 at 1:39 pm

A file picture taken on January 12, 2016 shows the then Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu delivering a speech during a ceremony for the arrival of the German-made INS Rahav, the fifth Israeli Navy submarine, at the Israeli military port of Haifa [JACK GUEZ/AFP via Getty Images]

An Israeli commission investigating suspected wrong-doing in government purchases of submarines and missile boats from Germany issued a warning to Prime Minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, on Monday, Reuters reports.

The panel notified Netanyahu that, based on evidence gathered thus far, it could ultimately determine that he had used his position as prime minister between 2009 and 2016 to green-light the purchases without due process.

“By doing so, he (Netanyahu) endangered the security of the state and harmed the state of Israel’s foreign relations and economic interests,” said the panel in its written decision, made public on Monday.

Netanyahu, in response, said that the submarines were central to Israel’s security “in ensuring its existence against Iran, which is trying to destroy us”.

“History will prove that Prime Minister Netanyahu was right on this issue as well and made the right decisions for the security of Israel,” the statement from his office said.

The commission, established under the previous government in 2022, said that it will soon publish unclassified parts of the evidence collected during the probe into the deal, worth hundreds of millions of dollars.

Netanyahu has struggled to salvage his security credentials since the 7 October attack by Hamas-led fighters, who killed 1,200 people and took more than 250 hostages to Gaza according to Israeli tallies, the worst attack on Jews since the Holocaust. In the Israeli assault on Gaza that followed, more than 37,000 people have been killed according to Gaza health authorities.

However, since then, it has been revealed by Haaretz that helicopters and tanks of the Israeli army had, in fact, killed many of the 1,139 soldiers and civilians claimed by Israel to have been killed by the Palestinian Resistance.

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