Far-right Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu responded to his many critics within the Knesset on Wednesday, January 25, going on the offensive from the Knesset podium and declaring his “innocence.” MKs Dov Khenin (Hadash – Joint List) and Revital Swid (Zionist Union) of the opposition asked the prime minister questions about the various affairs for which he is being investigated by police, including conflict of interests at the Ministry of Communication.
But in a round of Q&A during Wednesday afternoon’s parliamentary session, Knesset Speaker MK Yuli Edelstein (Likud) prohibited MKs from asking Prime Minister Netanyahu about ongoing police investigations into his conduct. Edelstein warned MKs that “any questions not related to government activities will not be allowed,” which sparked intense outbursts and shouting matches among parliament members.
On Wednesday, the Supreme Court ordered that Netanyahu file a response by March 1 to a petition to the court requesting that it demand the attorney-general open a full-fledged investigation into the new “Case 3000.”
This case relates to suspicions of a conflict of interest over the acquisition of submarines and naval corvettes from the German ship builder ThyssenKrupp Marine Systems, whose legal representative in Israel is the prime minister’s cousin and personal attorney David Shimron.
Shimron was also a director of a firm advising ThyssenKrupp in 2013, Haaretz reported. The police have opened an examination into the case, during which Netanyahu and former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon, have been questioned, although a full-fledged criminal investigation has still not been opened.