Israeli Opposition Leaders Demand Probe Into Netanyahu's Role in Submarine Affair

Scandal 'exposes a government that operates like a submarine in the darkness,' lawmaker Tzipi Livni says. Netanyahu: 'Slow down, I'll still be around for a long time'

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Netanyahu during a Likud faction meeting at the Knesset.
Netanyahu during a Likud faction meeting at the Knesset, November 21, 2016.Credit: Olivier Fitoussi

Opposition lawmakers called on Monday for an investigation into Israel's purchase of submarines from a German company and the involvement of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu in the deal.

"Sunlight is the best remedy for the illness of corruption," opposition leader Isaac Herzog told a meeting of the Zionist Union Knesset faction. "There's no option but to expose the submarine affair. It demands investigation."

On Wednesday, Herzog added, Zionist Union will propose the establishment of a parliamentary committee to look into the submarine affair.

MK Tzipi Livni said that the affair "exposes a government that operates like a submarine in the darkness."

The affair came to public notice last week when it was revealed that Netanyahu's personal lawyer, David Shomron, is a board member of the Israeli firm representing the German manufacturer of submarines purchased by Israel.

It was also revealed that Netanyahu had urged the purchase of three additional submarines, despite the opposition of the IDF.

Responding to media reports about the affair at a meeting of the Likud Knesset faction on Monday, Netanyahu called on the opposition to "present your position, we'll show ours and the public will decide."

"Anyone who is in a hurry should slow down," Netanyahu added. "I'll still be here a long time."

Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid told a meeting of his party that, "when the Israel Defense Forces, its commanders and soldiers, are concerned, it is impossible not to investigate until the truth is revealed. All the truth."

"For the past three days I have observed the effort to dissolve and eliminate the affair," Lapid added. "They won't succeed, because this is not a political issue. This is about the IDF."

He described the scandal as a "toxic and dangerous concoction of shrewd lawyers mixed with the army. With our soldiers. Our sons. Our security."

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