Channel 13 reported that a former state witness accused Netanyahu of business considerations in approving a German submarine sale to Egypt.
By World Israel News Staff
Ayelet Shaked, a former justice minister and leader of Yemina, a right-wing faction running in the September 17 election, is defending Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu despite a report which contradicts the premier’s assertion in the case of a controversial purchase of German submarines to Egypt.
The investigation, in which Netanyahu himself was not considered a suspect, involved some of the prime minister’s closest advisers.
At the center of the investigation is whether ulterior business motives, as opposed to security considerations, were behind Israel’s purchase of German submarines and also the Israeli green light to Germany to sell submarines to Egypt.
Though Cairo and Jerusalem are at peace, Israel’s allies often voice their commitment to the Jewish State’s military qualitative edge in the region, so that while Germany would not be required to get Israeli approval for such a sale, the coordination is a sign of the close alliance.
Miki Ganor, an Israeli who represented the German Thyssenkrupp conglomerate involved in the sale, became a state witness after reportedly confessing to bribery in order to advance the purchase.
However, in May, Israel Police announced that it was dropping the state witness arrangement with Ganor because he had changed his story and was no longer considered a credible witness.
Meanwhile, Netanyahu has insisted that his considerations related only to security though he did not consult with even top security officials, saying the subject was especially sensitive.
The latest bombshell in the case is a Channel 13 TV report on Tuesday that Ganor had told police that the reason Netanyahu was prepared to accept the sale of the submarines to Egypt was Germany’s offer to provide Israel with a discount on the submarines if it allowed Germany to sell them to Egypt as well, and not because of any sensitive security considerations.
“There is no way that the prime minister acted inappropriately and abandoned Israeli security for some other cause,” said Shaked in an interview on Wednesday with Army Radio, coming to Netanyahu’s defense in reaction to the television report. The former justice minister said that she did not believe Ganor.