'Israel released PA funds under German pressure'

By JPOST.COM STAFF,
December 4, 2011 14:36

Merkel threatened PM with halting of submarine deal if he refused to resume transfer of tax revenues, German paper reports.

1 minute read.



Dolphin-class Navy submarine

Dolphin-class Navy submarine. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

German Chancellor Angela Merkel threatened Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu with the halting of a German plan to deliver a submarine to Israel if the latter refused to resume the transfer of tax revenues to the Palestinian Authority, German newspaper Welt am Sonntag reported on Sunday.

According to the report, Jerusalem yielded to pressure from Berlin and unfroze the funds. Shortly afterward, a German government official announced her country would build and pay up to one-third of the cost of a sixth Dolphin-class submarine to be delivered to the Israeli navy.

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The agreement in principle to provide the Dolphin-class submarine, which foreign reports say enhances Israel’s second strike capability since it can carry nuclear warheads, comes a month after reports that Germany was reconsidering the deal because of anger at the announcement of plans to build some 1,100 housing units in the capital’s Gilo neighborhood, over the Green Line.

The German official said she did not know whether those reports were accurate. She said Germany will pay up to 135 million euros toward the submarine, which will cost between 372m. and 520m. euros.

Talks on the deal for the sub stalled last year after the Germans declined to underwrite it, as they had done with previous submarine purchases.


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