Israel and Germany finalized a deal that sees Israel’s submarine fleet growing significantly.
Israel finalized an agreement with Germany to receive three new submarines that will go into service from 2027.
In a statement on Monday, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between Germany and Israel on the acquisition of submarines.
“The MOU is strategically important to the security of Israel,” Netanyahu stated, while pointing out that the signing of the agreement “reflects the commitment of Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel to the security of Israel and the deep cooperation between the two countries.”
Netanyahu expressed “his deep appreciation” to Merkel, German Defense Minister Ursula von der Leyen and German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel
Israel has already ordered six submarines from Germany over the past two decades. Chancellor Angela Merkel’s spokesman, Steffen Seibert, said the German government would participate in the financing of three new vessels, as in previous deals.
Seibert, who noted “our historical responsibility toward the state of Israel,” said the two sides agreed not to disclose details.
The signing comes amid an Israeli investigation of possible corruption, bribes, money laundering, tax evasion and fraud involving purchases of German submarines.
The case, dubbed Case 3000, alleges that leading Israeli officials received bribes in exchange for their promotion of the acquisition of a Dolphin-class submarine for Israel’s navy from the German shipbuilder ThyssenKrupp.
Officials close to Netanyahu are suspected of using their ties to promote the deal, against the objections of Israel’s defense establishment and against the essential needs of the country.
Netanyahu’s personal attorney represented the German firm involved and is suspected of trading his influence over the premier for a hefty cut of a deal.
ThyssenKrupp has been accused of bribing officials around the world to promote sales of its submarines.
Netanyahu is currently not a suspect in this case.
By: World Israel News Staff
AP contributed to this report