Alternate Prime Minister and Defense Minister Benny Gantz has decided to exercise his authority and set up a commission of inquiry to investigate the Submarine Affair, Channel 12 News reported.
Such a commission of inquiry has great authority and according to the law, whoever is summoned to a hearing before it must appear or face a prison sentence. The prime minister and his associates may also be summoned to testify before the committee without having the opportunity to avoid appearing.
The commission will examine in depth the process of the purchase of the submarines but does not intend to deal with criminal suspicions.
The composition of the committee has not yet been determined, but attempts are being made to staff it quickly and get the procedure underway.
The Defense Minister's Office said in response to the report: "As the Defense Minister has stated several times - the defense establishment has been instructed to examine the option of establishing a comprehensive review committee on the purchase of submarines and 'Magen' ships. When the examination is completed and a decision is made - we will provide an update."
The Likud said that "only 4 months ago Gantz explained that there is no reason to investigate the recycled Submarine Affair because even the attorney general 'did not find it appropriate to open an investigation and I am content with that'. Now all of a sudden he is 'considering' this. He's crashing in the polls and looking for a way to garner votes with futile exercises against Prime Minister Netanyahu."
"It would be better for Blue and White to join the prime minister in working together to save the lives and livelihoods of Israeli citizens, instead of engaging in ridiculous political exercises," the Likud responded.