Zionist Union Chairman Avi Gabbay and Yesh Atid faction leader Yair Lapid called on Prime Minister Netanyahu to resign, following reports that his personal lawyer will be charged in a corruption scandal known as 'Case 3000'.
Police on Wednesday had recommended that Netanyahu's cousin and attorney David Shimron be indicted for bribery for his role in the 'Case 3000' investigation. The probe centers around allegations that Shimron pushed for a multi-billion shekel deal to purchase new submarines from German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp, which was a client of Shimron's.
Following the police announcement, Gabbay said Netanyahu's behavior in the affair was "treasonous" and called on him to resign. "Stealing money from the defense forces is an act of treason against IDF soldiers," said Gabbay in a video he released. "With this money, we could have purchased armored personnel carriers to replace the aging vehicles our soldiers used to enter Gaza four years ago."
"If the prime minister knew about his confidants’ involvement, he must resign. If he didn’t know, he must resign because he’s unfit to lead our defense establishment," Gabbay continued.
Gabbay's demand for Netanyahu's resignation was echoed by Lapid, who said that the prime minister's behavior in the affair showed that he was unaware of what was happening in his own government.
"The recommendation of the police to indict the navy commander, the deputy head of the NSC, the prime minister's chief of staff and the personal attorney and the person closest to the prime minister, does not allow Benjamin Netanyahu to continue to serve in his post," said Lapid.
"How did it happen that he was suspected of earning tens of millions under the table in a sensitive arms deal that he personally managed, how could he not know, and why he authorized the sale of advanced submarines to Egypt while being hidden from the defense minister, the Defense Ministry, and the IDF?" asked Lapid.
"If all this happened without Netanyahu knowing what is going on at his office then he is not fit to continue in his position."
Netanyahu's Likud party responded by ridiculing the duo's "false accusations" and denied that Netanyahu was connected to the affair.
"The left's attempts to catch up with the affair of the submarines to Prime Minister Netanyahu have crashed into reality," said the Likud in a statement.
"We share the sorrow of Lapid and Gabbay who again lost their desperate hope to replace Prime Minister Netanyahu with false accusations."