Gantz Agrees to Pause Commission of Inquiry Into Submarine Affair After Request by Attorney General

Netael Bandel
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Police forces moving an inflatable submarine during an anti-Netanyahu protest outside Jerusalem, November 28, 2020.
Police forces moving an inflatable submarine during an anti-Netanyahu protest outside Jerusalem, November 28, 2020. Credit: Ohad Zwigenberg
Netael Bandel

Attorney General Avichai Mendelblit asked Defense Minister Benny Gantz on Sunday not to convene the commission of inquiry into the so-called submarine affair that Gantz had established last week, until limits on the commission's activities have been put into place. 

Shortly after, Gantz announced that "the work and conduct of the commission will be subject to the professional instructions of the attorney general." The aim of the delay is to avoid causing harm to the criminal procedure, Mendelblit said in his request.

The affair involves an agreement with Germany’s ThyssenKrupp to buy some $2 billion worth of submarines and patrol boats. Senior IDF officers, public officials and a number of people close to Netanyahu are suspected of demanding and receiving bribes to advance the deals. 

Among the corruption allegations against Netanyahu is the approval of a sale of two submarines to Egypt in exchange for a discount on Israel's acquisition of another submarine. 

The commission of inquiry was slated to convene on Tuesday for the first time, and hold hearings three times a week during its four-month tenure.

>> What does Netanyahu have to hide in the submarine affair?

On Saturday, thousands gathered across Israel on to protest the commission, which in their view does not have enough legal powers to take action. 

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