Activists erected submarine-like structures in Tel Aviv on Saturday to protest allegations related to Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's allegations regarding the ongoing scandal which was later referred to as "submarine affairs" in Israel.
Protesters from the Zionist Party opposition party installed a structure on Habima Square in central Tel Aviv with punctuation marks "with Bibi [Netanyahu], the country is sinking. "
Passersby received "reminders of serious corruption cases where the defendants were key people in the Netanyahu circle," Zionist Union activists said in a statement quoted by Hebrew-language media.
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On Thursday, police said they had sufficient evidence to prosecute Netanyahu's trusted lawyer and cousin David Shimron for bribery and money laundering for his role in what is considered one of the biggest corruption schemes in the country's history involving the purchase of 2 billion German dollars. submarine.
Shimron represented the German manufacturer, ThyssenKrupp, in sales and was thought to have traded influence on the prime minister in return for a large cut in the deal.
While Netanyahu was questioned as a witness, he was not a suspect in the case.
Besides Shimron, police on Thursday said the former head of Netanyahu's office, David Sharan, was also suspected of bribery, such as former navy chief Eliezer Marom. IDF Brig. General (res.) Shay Brosh, former deputy chairman of the National Security Council Brig. Avriel Bar-Yosef's (res.) Gene, former minister Eliezer Sandberg was named a suspect for similar violations.
Police said there was not enough evidence against Netanyahu's lawyers and other long-time colleagues, Shimron's legal partner, Yitzhak Molcho, who was also linked to the case.
The police announcement came at the conclusion of a long-running investigation into the purchase of Israeli submarines produced by German industrial giant ThyssenKrupp.
The main figure in this case was Miki Ganor, Israeli representative ThyssenKrupp at the time of the agreement, who agreed to change state witnesses in mid-2017. The Ganor will serve a 12-month prison sentence and be fined 10 million shekels ($ 2.7 million) for tax violations as part from his agreement with the state, said the police.
Police findings were submitted to Attorney General Avichai Mandelblit, who would decide whether the suspects should be prosecuted. At a legal conference in Haifa on Thursday, Mandelblit refused to provide a time frame for the decision, but called the case "serious" and said the evidence would be thoroughly examined.
Opposition lawmakers immediately demanded Netanyahu resign in light of police findings.
In a video posted online, the head of the Zionist Association Avi Gabbay said the suspicion of Netanyahu's trustees amounted to "betrayal," and that hundreds of billions of dollars spent on naval vessels should not have been used to improve old IDF equipment .
"We can buy armored personnel carriers to replace the old vehicles used by our army to enter Gaza four years ago," he said. "If the prime minister knows about that [their] Involvement, he must resign. If he does not know, he must resign because he is not worthy to lead our defense. "
Yesh Atid leader Yair Lapid also said Netanyahu was unfit to lead the country in this case, even if he did not know about it.
"Netanyahu owes an explanation to the public," lapid tweeted. "What else did he not know? How could the people closest to him allegedly take tens of millions of dollars under a table from sensitive hands who took care of it? [the prime minister] should handle personally? "
Former defense minister Moshe Alon, who accused the prime minister of being involved in the bribery scheme, said after police issued their recommendation, "There is no way Netanyahu doesn't know." He claimed that the fact that the police were not considering Netanyahu's suspects despite the involvement of a trusted lawyer David Shimron raised serious questions about the investigation.
Netanyahu's ruling Likud party retaliated at Gabbay and Lapid, saying in a statement that "the leftist attempt to embed" submarine affairs "with Prime Minister Netanyahu had collapsed in the face of reality.
"We express our condolences to Lapid and Gabbay, who have once again seen their hopes of replacing Prime Minister Netanyahu on false charges," the party said.
Although Netanyahu himself is not a suspect in a submarine case, police have recommended indicting him for bribery, fraud and breach of trust in separate corruption cases.
Institutions contributed to this report.