Germany to sell Israel new nuke-capable submarine

Germany has announced that it will sell Israel a sixth Dolphin-class submarine capable of carrying nuclear warheads with an operating range of 4,500 kilometers (2,800 miles).

German Defense Minister Thomas de Maiziere announced the decision on Tuesday in a joint press conference with his Israeli counterpart Ehud Barak in Berlin.

“A further boat will be delivered to Israel and there will be financial help,” said Maiziere, confirming that Germany would shoulder part of the cost of the submarine.

In November, a German government source had said that the country would pay a contribution of 135 million Euros ($178 million), a third of the cost.

Three earlier-model Dolphin submarines had been delivered to Israel between 1998 and 2000.

In 2006, Israel placed its fourth and fifth orders for two more advanced subs.

The fourth one is scheduled for delivery by 2013. The fifth and the sixth orders are due for delivery in 2014 and 2016 respectively.

This is while Israel is the only possessor of nuclear weapons in the Middle East and it has never allowed inspections of its nuclear facilities nor has it joined the Non-Proliferation Treaty based on its policy of nuclear ambiguity.

A survey conducted by the Arab Center for Research and Policy Studies (ACRPS) in twelve Arab countries reveals that 51 percent of the respondents believed Israel to be the first major threat to the Arab world, while 22 percent considered the US.

Another survey conducted in 2011 by the Berlin-based Friedrich Ebert Foundation shows that more than 50 percent of European people believe Israel is the most serious threat to global security.

Germany has recently sold heavy weaponry to autocratic regimes in the Middle East, including 200 Leopard tanks worth billions of dollars to Saudi Arabia, a regime which has helped suppress the popular protests in Bahrain.

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