Netanyahu-Gantz Partnership on brink of collapse over corruption probe.
Zionist regime’s Interior Minister Arye Dery tore into war Minister Benny Gantz on Monday over the latter's decision to form an inquiry committee into claims of corruption by Prime Minister Benjamin Netnyahu, saying he "doubts" whether the Netanyahu-Gantz government, of which he is member, should remain in power, Israeli daily Haaretz reported.
The so-called submarine affair deals with claims that Netanyahu intervened in a deal to buy submarines from a German company against the security establishment's position. Senior Israeli army officers, public officials and a number of people close to Netanyahu are suspected of demanding and receiving bribes to advance the deals with Germany’s ThyssenKrupp.
According to Shas leader Dery, Gantz "crossed a red line" by announcing the probe on Sunday, which he said would turn the army into political propaganda and may reveal classified information.
Dery added that even though he supported the unity government formed by Gantz's party and Netanyahu's Likud, "given the recent behavior, I am doubting whether there is justification and benefits to continuing in this partnership."
Speaking at a Likud faction meeting, Netanyahu accused Gantz of using the army for political gain. Calling it "a great disgrace," Netanyahu said the committee is fixed and is aimed only at garnering votes in a future election.
Gantz's Kahol Lavan party sees forming the inquiry committee as a way to pressure Netanyahu over his attitude toward the party, his refusal to pass the state budget, the freezing of senior appointments and his constant threat of an early election.
The submarine affair has become a central element in the protests against Netanyahu, where demonstrators have carried inflatable submarines inscribed with slogans like “S.S. Investigation.” Protesters are calling for an inquiry committee into the affair, as well as demanding that Netanyahu to step down in light of his corruption charges.
The affair involves an agreement with ThyssenKrupp to buy submarines and patrol boats; the latter would protect Israel’s natural gas rigs in the Mediterranean. At issue in these agreements, worth 1.5 billion euros and 430 million euros, respectively, are the dealings between top Israeli officials and ThyssenKrupp’s representative in Israel.