The confidant and cousin of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, David Shimron, filed a libel lawsuit of about $166,000 against opposition lawmaker Moshe Ya'alon after the latter accused Shimron of being involved in alleged corruption in the so-called submarine affair revolving around Israel's controversial purchase of naval vessels from Germany.
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Five years ago, Israel signed two deals with the German industrial group ThyssenKrupp – one to buy three submarines for 1.5 billion euros (about $1.8 billion) , and another to buy missile ships to protect Israel’s offshore gas fields for 430 million euros (about $500 million). Several senior officers, civil servants and associates of Netanyahu have been charged with bribery in relation to these deals. The premier was never investigated as a suspect in the affair, dubbed Case 3000.
Netanyahu's attorney, Amit Hadad, filed the suit on behalf of Shimron, the prime minister's former lawyer. For a long time, Ya'alon "Has been spreading false accusations that the plaintiff acted in a corrupt manner in the so-called submarine affair, and as a result received dozens of millions of euros, which he claims were meant for the prime minister," Hadad wrote. "These are false and baseless statements that constitute indisputable libel," he added.
Ya'alon published these accusations on Facebook. In a 2019 post, he wrote: "Case 3000 is the biggest corruption case in Israel's history. While the prime minister's entire inner circle enjoys millions of euros, his closest attorney didn’t know [about it]?"
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In response to the lawsuit, Ya'alon said that "During a Knesset deliberation to establish an inquiry committee into the purchase of the vessels, it was reported that Shimon, who is involved up to his neck in the affair, has filed a lawsuit against me. This is how a crime gang acts. You will not scare and deter me from fighting to uncover the truth."