Benny Gantz, chairman of the Blue and White party, on Monday evening held a news conference along with the rest of the party’s leadership in which he blasted Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu.
"Part of security is the knowledge that those taking the decisions are doing it without outside considerations, without personal or financial interests. In the past few days new and serious details have emerged in the submarine affair. It is the most serious national security corruption scandal in the history of the country," said Gantz.
The Blue and White leaders called for a renewed investigation against Netanyahu in the submarine affair, in which the Attorney General ruled that there was no reason to investigate the Prime Minister.
"We stand before you three Chiefs of Staff and a Security Cabinet member from whom it was hidden that the Prime Minister was getting money. 16 million shekels. 16 million shekels that went into Netanyahu’s pocket. From a company that was directly connected to the submarines. It is crisis of confidence in his leadership; it is a breakdown that cannot be repaired," Gantz charged.
"This week we found out that the Prime Minister approved the sale of advanced submarines to Egypt behind the backs of the security establishment and without any of the relevant authorities knowing. Netanyahu denied it. He lied. It does serious damage to the public’s trust in the security establishment.”
“Because of the breakdown of trust and the damage to the most sensitive security area – I’m announcing here that we will set up a national committee of inquiry to investigate this affair and all those involved in it,” declared Gantz.
Former Defense Minister Moshe Ya’alon said at the press conference that "the decision to sell submarines to Egypt surprised me and the people of the Defense Ministry. From an inquiry conducted by Amos Gilad, head of the diplomatic-security division of the Defense Ministry, with the Germans, I learned that the approval was made by you, Netanyahu.”
"Bibi, I asked you if you gave the German government approval for the sale of advanced submarines to Egypt and you said no. That’s why I asked President Rivlin, before his visit to Germany, to raise the issue with the German Chancellor. President Rivlin came back with the same answer: Germany received approval to sell advanced submarines to Egypt, from you,” continued Ya’alon.
"Bibi, what led you to give that approval without updating me or the security cabinet? What caused you to intervene and pressure to cancel the international tender for the purchase of protective ships and try to refer the deal in the first place to ThyssenKrupp? Bibi, on the basis of what did Attorney [David] Shimron, together with Miki Ganor, the same mediator who became a state witness a week after I completed my term as defense minister, turn to the head of the Histadrut and the secretary of the organization "Civilians working for the IDF" and informed them that the navy shipyard was going to be privatized and that ThyssenKrupp will take responsibility for holding the navy's vessels, and it is worthwhile for them, Nissenkorn and Moshe Friedman, to cooperate with the move because in any case it will pressure them from above?” said Ya’alon.
MK Yair Lapid added, " As someone who gave evidence in the submarine affair, as the one who managed some of the negotiations with the German government, I join the clear call - this is the biggest national security corruption scandal in the history of the country and Netanyahu is at its center. It is unavoidable, he will be investigated."