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Submarine Scandal: Germany approves Israel deal despite corruption allegations

Accusations of wrongdoing leveled against PM Netanyahu’s lawyer; Germany inserts a clause into the contract, giving it the right to tear it up if corruption allegations are proven.

 

Germany’s National Security Council has approved the sale of three more Dolphin nuclear-capable submarines to Israel, Der Speigel reported Friday.

The newspaper said Germany had inserted a clause into the contract giving it the right to tear it up if corruption allegations were proven.

The $1.5 billion defense deal has overshadowed by corruption allegations that shipmaker ThyssenKrupp’s Israeli intermediary had retained Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu’s lawyer David Shimron to act on his behalf.

Authorities are now scrutinizing the submarines scandal in both countries.

Israel already has five submarines of the Dolphin Class, which can equip with nuclear warheads. A sixth is being built. Germany has agreed to finance a third of the costs of the contract.

Last February, it was reported that Israel Police would be turning “Case 3000,” which deals with corruption allegations regarding the purchase of IDF submarines from German conglomerate ThyssenKrupp into a full, criminal investigation.

Israel’s Justice Ministry, while not naming any suspects in the investigation, said there was no evidence that Netanyahu was involved.

This comes in direct opposition to reports that former defense minister Moshe Ya’alon had told police of Netanyahu’s direct involvement in the purchasing of the submarines and the tender bias in favor of German conglomerate.

Ya’alon reportedly provided investigators with detailed information on the talks Netanyahu had with German government officials both for the purchase of three new submarines and for the purchase of anti-submarine warships for the Israeli Navy—without consulting the defense establishment.

Israel’s submarine deal with Germany includes two main parts: The acquisition of three submarines and the signing of a contract for long-term maintenance work with the German company ThyssenKrupp that is represented by Israeli businessman Miki Ganor. It is the latter contract that would be more profitable to Ganor, according to defense officials.

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