Monday Jun 11, 201202:59 PM GMT
German defense minister backs submarine sales to Israel
A photo taken on July 27, 1999 shows the first German-built submarine "Dolphin" reaching the surface off the Israeli Haifa port in the Mediterranean Sea.
A photo taken on July 27, 1999 shows the first German-built submarine "Dolphin" reaching the surface off the Israeli Haifa port in the Mediterranean Sea.
Mon Jun 11, 2012 2:52PM
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German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere has defended Berlin’s decision to sell subsidized nuclear-capable submarines to Israel.


Maiziere said that the submarine delivery was no more than continuity with previous German administrations.

Germany has already supplied Israel with three Dolphin-class submarines and another three are to be delivered by 2017. The contract for the sixth submarine was signed only recently.

Germany would subsidize about one-third of the cost of the sixth submarine.

The defense minister added that Berlin’s decision to partially fund the submarines was to underline Germany’s commitment to Tel Aviv security. Berlin’s military assistance to Tel Aviv is largely financed by German taxpayer money.

Germany delivered the first three submarines between 1999 and 2000, two of which it paid for. In 2005, Berlin struck a deal with Tel-Aviv for another two submarines, this time paying a contribution of 333 million euros for both.

Israel is widely known to be the sole possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East, holding an arsenal of estimated 200 to 300 atomic warheads.

The Israeli regime equips the submarines with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, according to a report published by the German weekly magazine, Der Spiegel.

The Dolphins are small, diesel-powered submarines, designed for coastal patrols and are capable of carrying nuclear warheads, which are dangerous for humanity.

PG/HGH/AZ

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