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Germany 'Approves' Controversial Israel Submarine Deal- Israeli Sources

Germany 'Approves' Controversial Israel Submarine Deal- Israeli Sources

Sunday, 22 October, 2017 - 09:00
German-made INS Rahav Dolphin 2-class submarine, the fifth Israeli Navy submarine, arriving at the port of Haifa on January 12, 2016 (AFP)

The German government has approved the sale of three submarines to Israel that are at the heart of the Israel Police’s Case 3000 probe of possible bribery, fraud and kickbacks on the part of former top defense officials and confidants of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Israeli sources said on Friday.

"The Germans have given their approval to the deal," an Israeli official familiar with the issue said, according to AFP.

Earlier, Berlin postponed signing the MoU on the sale due to an ongoing probe into corruption allegations relating to the agreement. The deal is worth some €1.5 billion, with 27% subsidized by the German state.

In July, several Israelis were arrested on suspicion of offenses including bribery and money laundering around the deal to buy the Dolphin submarines from German industrial giant ThyssenKrupp.

David Shimron, a relative of Netanyahu and his family lawyer who also represented ThyssenKrupp in Israel, was among those questioned and then released.

The investigation was prompted by a Channel 10 news report which alleged that there was a conflict of interests in the deal due to the involvement of attorney David Shimron.

Shimron, who is Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu's private lawyer, also represents ThyssenKrupp’s representative in Israel, Miki Ganor.

Germany, however, has emphasized that despite the reported approval, no deal has been signed.

"We had other talks about it, but a deal was not made until now," a German government spokesperson told AFP.

German magazine Der Spiegel reported that Germany will wait for Israeli prosecutors to conclude all investigations in the corruption scandal involving Netanyahu before delivering the three submarines deal.

Netanyahu recently lashed out at Israel's police and media over a wider investigation into graft allegations, claiming that there "is a transparent media campaign" against him.

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