First Published: 2017-10-20

Germany advances Israel submarine deal after corruption holdup
Germany had earlier put off negotiations over submarine sale to Israel following allegations of bribery, money laundering leveled at Israelis involved in the deal.
Middle East Online

Israeli sailors stand on German-built submarine at port in Haifa.

BERLIN - Germany has resumed negotiations towards selling Israel three submarines after a three-month pause in talks following concern in Berlin over a corruption investigation, Israeli officials said Friday.

In July, Germany had put off the signing of a memorandum of understanding following the arrest of several Israelis on suspicion of offences including bribery and money laundering around the deal to buy the Dolphin submarines from German industrial giant ThyssenKrupp.

The corruption investigation, which is still ongoing, involves officials from the Israeli security establishment, as well as people working locally for ThyssenKrupp.

While Germany stressed on Friday that an agreement had not been finalised and signed, Israeli officials implied it was a done deal.

"The Germans have given their approval to the deal," an Israeli official familiar with the issue said on condition of anonymity.

According to the Israeli official, Germany had conditioned the deal on there being no corruption on the behalf of the Israeli decision-makers and senior officials involved.

Housing Minister Yoav Gallant, who was a senior commander in the Israeli navy, "welcomed the German approval" to allow the purchase of the three submarines.

In a tweet, Gallant said the three new submarines would replace three old ones in a decade and bring the number of new submarines at Israel's disposal to six.

Germany, however, stressed that the deal on the three submarines "is not yet signed."

"We had other talks about it, but a deal was not made until now," a spokesman for the German government said.

The submarines ordered by Israel are likely to be equipped with nuclear missiles but are primarily intended for spy missions off Iran or to attack that country in case of nuclear war, according to foreign military experts.

 

Iraq launches operation to clear last IS holdouts from desert

Divided Syria opposition meets in Riyadh

Lebanon’s Hariri suspends resignation

Revolt in US State Department over child soldier law

Outrage in Iraq over 'child marriage' bill

Syrian opposition aims for unity at talks in Riyadh

Egypt police kill 3 Islamists in shootout

Turkey unsure if Assad to be part of Syria political transition

Migrant arrivals from Libya down since EU deal

Palestinian factions leave Cairo talks with little progress

Sudan’s Bashir looks to Putin for ‘protection’ from US aggression

China, Djibouti forge 'strategic' ties

IS propaganda channels fall quiet in 'unprecedented' hiatus

Kremlin to create Syria congress despite Turkey ‘reservations’

Netanyahu berates deputy minister for 'offensive' remarks on US Jews

Egypt PM heads to Germany for medical treatment

Egypt destroys 10 SUVs carrying arms on Libya border

Saudi-led coalition to reopen Yemen airport, port to aid

Turkey court rules to keep Amnesty chief in jail

France calls for UN meeting on Libya slave-trading

Egypt detains 29 for allegedly spying for Turkey

WTO panel to hear Qatar’s complaint against UAE blockade

Three dead as diphtheria spreads in Yemen

Israel seizes explosive material at Gaza border

Activists call for release of UK journalist held by IS

Bahrain upholds jail sentence for activist

Iraq attacks at lowest since 2014

Turkey continues crackdown in post-coup probe

Hariri back in Lebanon

Putin to hold Syria peace talks with Erdogan, Rouhani

US carries out air strikes against IS in Libya

Lebanon's Hariri in Egypt ahead of return home

Rebels say Sanaa airport 'ready to run' after coalition bombing

Greece to amend historic sharia law for Muslim minority

Turkey to ask Germany to extradite top coup suspect

Car bomb in northern Iraq kills at least 24

Morocco bans bitcoin transactions

13 million Syrians need aid despite relative drop in violence

Sudan urged to improve plight of Darfur's displaced people

Brain drain means Syria can’t recover for a generation

Palestinians close communication lines with Americans

Anti-IS coalition strikes drop to lowest number

German police arrest six Syrians ‘planning terror attack’

Palestinian factions in Cairo for reconciliation talks

Turkish opposition daily web editor sentenced to 3 years in jail