Germany to sell four warships to Israel

The ships, which will cost more than a billion euros, are expected to be used to defend Israel's offshore gas facilities.

December 25, 2014 21:08
1 minute read.
The navy patrols off the coast of Gaza on Monday

Navy patrols off the coast of Gaza. (photo credit: YAAKOV LAPPIN)

Israel will purchase four new Sa’ar class corvettes from Germany, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced on Thursday, saying the vessels will be an “important component” to Israel’s defensive capabilities.

Netanyahu announced the purchase at a graduation ceremony for IAF pilot cadets at the Hatzerim Air Base, near Beersheba. The ships, which will cost more than €1 billion, are expected to be used to defend Israel’s offshore gas facilities.

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A story earlier this month in Germany’s Bild am Sonntag said that Berlin will pay €115 million toward the cost of the vessels.

Netanyahu said the Sa’ar vessels were in addition to the German-made Dolphin-class submarines already in the employ of the navy. Four of these submarines are in service, a fifth one is expected to arrive in 2015, and an agreement for the purchase of a sixth was signed earlier this year.

The prime minister, speaking to the cadets a day after sniper in the southern Gaza Strip seriously wounded an IDF soldier, said Israel would not “tolerate attacks against us, neither from the Gaza Strip, nor from the Golan Heights, nor from the Lebanese border or from anywhere; therefore, the IDF responded with force and immediately to the recent attempt by the terrorist organizations to raise their heads.”

Netanyahu said that Israel held Hamas responsible for the violations of the cease-fire in Gaza, “and will act accordingly.”

In what could be interpreted as a veiled reference to reported Israeli actions from time to time against state-of-the-art arms deliveries in Syria or elsewhere, Netanyahu said Israel’s “counterterrorist actions are carried out in a wide circle, occasionally far from our borders.

The air force has a decisive role in implementing this policy on land, sea and air.

Our soldiers attack terrorist organizations and systematically disrupt the supply of war material sent to them mainly by Iran and its proxies. We are determined to prevent our enemies from acquiring deadly weapons that could endanger our security.”

Netanyahu reiterated that Israel was “determined to do everything to prevent Iran, which has recently again called for our destruction, from attaining nuclear weapons.”

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