New election in the air after Gantz calls submarine inquiry “just the first instalment”

The alternate PM, Defense Minister Benny Gantz (Blue and White), said on Monday that the inquiry he had ordered into the “submarine affair” – and PM Binyamin Netanyahu’s alleged involvement – was “just the first installment of harsh steps to come.”

He earlier accused Netanyahu of running the government on a back burner while focusing on his legal predicament. “I’m won’t accept responsibility for a barely functioning government,” he said. He then accused the prime minister of “irresponsibly leaking” word of his trip to Saudi Arabia for talks with the crown prince.

Likud and other cabinet ministers denigrated Gantz’s actions as part of a scheme to bring down the coalition government in order to resolve the challenge to his leadership within his own party and his falling rate in the polls. They see his slaps against the prime minister as the start of his election campaign, which they say has crossed every red line by exploiting a defense issue as a political tool.

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