Navy patrols off the coast of Gaza.
(photo credit: YAAKOV LAPPIN)
The Defense Ministry is examining a proposal by Berlin to sell Israel navy ships for the protection of its exclusive economic zone in the Mediterranean Sea.
The bid came months after the ministry issued a tender for the purchase of ships to defend the zone, which contains underwater-gas reservoirs and offshore platforms.
According to a ministry statement, Berlin sent a proposal for supplying “defense ships through a German shipyard and for a partial [financial] participation by the German government.
The offer is being examined by the relevant elements but no decision has been taken regarding this issue.”
In May, former navy chief Adm. (res.) Eliezer Marom said Israel and Cyprus should coordinate defenses of their offshore natural-gas rigs.
This would avoid the kind of situation in which Cypriot and Israeli maritime patrol aircraft fly near one another and monitor the same naval sectors, but transmit their data to Tel Aviv and Larnaca respectively, without any coordination, he said.
In recent years, Israel has installed multiple layers of defenses around the offshore platforms in its exclusive economic zone, Marom added.
“Looking out from the rig, one sees only water all around. But that’s a deceptive view. It’s not an island. There’s a whole world [of defenses] around [it],” he said.