Germany Threatens to Halt Submarine Sale to Israel
12:00 AM, November 2, 2011
The German government is threatening to halt the delivery of a submarine capable of firing nuclear warheads in protest of the Israeli government's recent decision to build new homes in the Arab part of Jerusalem. Earlier this year, SPIEGEL reported that Germany's subsidized submarine sales program is linked to World War II reparations. Germany is threatening to stop the delivery of a "Dolphin" submarine to Israel in protest over the country's settlement policies. Government sources confirmed the development when asked by SPIEGEL following speculation last week in the Israeli media that Germany might halt the sale. The move is in response to the recent decision by the Israeli government to approve the construction of 1,100 homes in Gilo, an Arab part of Jerusalem captured from Jordan in the 1967 Six Day War. The Israeli government considers the area to be a Jewish suburb, but the international community contests that description. The threat by German Chancellor Angela Merkel has been the subject of considerable concern in Israel. The nuclear-weapons capable Dolphin submarines are an important part of the Israeli military strategy. The navy already owns three of the submarines and two further vessels are currently being built by Howaldtswerke-Deutsche Werft (HDW), the shipbuilding division of German steelmaker Thyssen-Krupp, in Kiel, Germany. This summer, the German government approved €135 million ($189 million) in funding to assist Israel with the purchase of a sixth Dolphin submarine over the next four years. Now, however, that deal for the sixth submarine is in jeopardy. In addition to its capability of firing nuclear warheads, the submarine also has a larger cruising range because of its advanced modern fuel-cell propulsion technology.
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