A senior German official confirmed that his government has agreed to sell a sixth nuclear-capable submarine to Israel.
Several weeks ago, reports surfaced that Berlin may withhold delivery of the Dolphin class submarine in protest of Israel’s settlement policy. Wednesday, a German official told the Associated Press that Germany approved the subsidized sale of the submarine, with Germany paying about a third of the cost.
The submarine is to be delivered to Israel within five years. The official said that the sale resulted from a 2005 agreement between Israel and Germany, which included an option for another subsidized submarine.
Israel is pleased that they will be able to further enhance their second strike capabilities. The submarine will be a strategic asset amidst fears of an increasingly nuclear Iran.
Israel already owns three Dolphin submarines, two supplied by Germany a no cost and the third half funded by Berlin. Two more submarines are currently under construction in Germany’s harbor city Kiel. Der Spiegel reported that the sixth sale had been jeopardized by Israel’s decision to move ahead with settlement construction in Gilo, a section of East Jerusalem beyond the green line.