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German Federal Security Council OKs submarine delivery to Israel

The German body that monitors the export of military goods, the Federal Security Council, has given the green light for the delivery of another submarine to Israel. The decision could be a contentious one.

Israel is to receive the fifth of six promised submarines from Germany after the Federal Security Council approved the export at its most recent meeting, the daily Süddeutsche Zeitung wrote on Friday, citing the Council's report to the parliamentary Economics Committee.

The fourth of the submarines was handed over to Israel last September by the company ThyssenKrupp.

Previous deliveries of German submarines to Israel have been criticized in some quarters, partly because a third of the cost is shouldered by German taxpayers, but also because of media reports that the vessels are capable of being equipped with nuclear weapons.

Israel is widely considered to be in possession of an atomic arsenal, although the country has never officially admitted to the fact.

Other approved exports

At its meeting, the Council, which takes its decisions on the basis of Germany's Military Weapons Control Act and the Export Act, also consented to the export of six sonar systems to India that can be used for the detection of submarines and torpedoes, the paper said.

India is also to receive tools and spare parts to produce small-caliber ammunition, according to the report. In addition, the Council also approved the delivery of 336 trucks to Algeria that, although reportedly unarmed, are considered as military vehicles because of their ability to drive through water and their blackout lighting.

Only the submarine export to Israel is considered as weapons export in the narrow sense of the term.

tj/jil (dpa, AFP)

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