Defense Minister Benny Gantz intends to call for a vote on the formation of a state inquiry into the so-called submarine affair at the cabinet meeting on Sunday, his office says. [Case 3000]
Gantz announced his plan to propose such an investigation on Saturday night, sparking a minor political controversy.
The defense minister’s office says he has submitted initial drafts of his proposal to the Justice and Finance ministries for review and upon receiving their comments, he plans to bring the matter to a vote by the government.
“Gantz intends to submit his proposal to the government ahead of the cabinet meeting on Sunday, after submitting and receiving feedback from the relevant offices,” his spokesperson says.
The submarine affair, known as Case 3000, revolves around allegations of a massive bribery scheme in Israel’s multi-billion-shekel purchase of naval vessels — submarines and large missile ships — from German shipbuilder Thyssenkrupp.
The scandal also involved the sale of two Dolphin-class submarines and two anti-submarine warships by Germany to Egypt, allegedly approved by former prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu without consulting or notifying then-defense minister Moshe Ya’alon and then-IDF chief of staff Gantz.
Israel had long been granted an unofficial veto over such sales by Germany.
The fourth and fifth submarines delivered by Germany, are advanced Dolphin-class vessels equipped with air-independent propulsion (AIP).
The INS Tanin [featured image] was commissioned in September 2014 and the INS Rahav was commissioned in 2016.
There is consistent speculation that Israel’s submarines have been refitted to carry missiles armed with nuclear weapons for the country to maintain a survivable second-strike option.
The German government has refused to comment on modifying the Dolphin-class submarines delivered to Israel to fit cruise missiles armed with nuclear warheads. However, German officials such as former Head of the Policy Planning Staff of the German Ministry of Defense Hans Rühle, have stated that they assumed Israel intended to equip the submarines with nuclear weapons.