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State Commission to Issue Warning Letter to PM Netanyahu Over ‘Submarine Affair’ Inquiry

In a significant development concerning the ongoing submarine affair in Israel, a state commission of inquiry has taken steps that may impact several prominent figures, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu. The commission has announced its intention to issue warning notices to five individuals, inviting them to submit additional testimony and view evidence related to their involvement in the submarine purchases.

According to an 11-page statement released by the commission, Netanyahu is implicated in making decisions of “significant implications for security” without following proper decision-making processes. The commission accuses him of bypassing his own government to strike agreements with Germany on political, security, and economic matters.

It further alleges that Netanyahu approved defense purchases without adhering to established government procedures and excluded relevant security bodies from critical decision-making on sensitive political-security issues. The commission also criticizes Netanyahu for creating parallel decision-making channels that risked Israel’s security and undermined its foreign relations.

In addition to Netanyahu, the commission is issuing warnings to former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, former Mossad chief Yossi Cohen, former National Security Council employee Avner Simchoni, and former naval commander Admiral Ram Rothberg. These individuals are expected to receive notices to allow them the opportunity to provide further testimony and view evidence concerning their roles in the submarine affair.

The commission of inquiry, initiated during former Prime Minister Naftali Bennett’s tenure, has been investigating Israel’s purchase of submarines and naval vessels from German shipbuilder Thyssenkrupp in a contentious $2 billion deal. This deal has been under scrutiny over allegations of corruption and bribery.

While Netanyahu himself is not considered a suspect in the case, he has been questioned by police regarding the submarine deal, and several of his close associates have faced legal repercussions, including indictments and convictions related to their involvement in the negotiations.

In response to the commission’s findings and impending warnings, Netanyahu’s office has defended his decisions, emphasizing the submarines’ critical role in Israel’s national security, particularly in the face of threats from Iran. The statement asserts that Netanyahu’s actions were aimed at safeguarding Israel’s existence and predicts that history will vindicate his decisions regarding the submarine acquisitions.

The unfolding inquiry continues to cast a shadow over Israeli politics, raising questions about the conduct of top officials and the transparency of major defense procurement processes in the country.

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