Israel fitting nuclear arms on subs: Report

2012-06-04 10:01

Berlin - Israel is arming submarines supplied and largely financed by Germany with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles, influential German news weekly Der Spiegel reports in its issue to be published on Monday.

The magazine said in a cover story that Berlin had until now denied any knowledge that German submarines were being used as part of an Israeli atomic arsenal.

But former high-ranking officials of the German defence ministry told Der Spiegel that the government always assumed Israel was putting nuclear warheads on the Dolphin-class vessels.

The article, based on a months-long probe, cited files from the foreign ministry in Berlin indicating the West German state was aware of the practice as early as 1961.

In Israel, foreign ministry spokesperson Yigal Palmor said only: "I can confirm that we have German submarines. It's no secret.

"As for the rest, I am not in a position to talk about their capacity," he said.

Explanation sought

Israel is the Middle East's sole if undeclared nuclear-armed power.

Germany has already supplied Israel with three of the submarines in question, footing most of the bill, and another three are to be delivered by 2017 under a recently signed contract.

Meanwhile Israel is weighing whether to order three more, according to the report.

"The Germans can be proud to have ensured the existence of the state of Israel for several years to come," Israeli Defence Minister Ehud Barak was quoted by Der Spiegel as saying.

The opposition Social Democrat Party called Sunday on Chancellor Angela Merkel's government for an explanation.

"The federal government must provide information so that we know if the submarines delivered by Germany can be potentially equipped with nuclear warheads," party spokesperson Rolf Muetzenich told Der Spiegel.

Israeli concessions

Merkel's spokesperson Steffen Seibert said all submarines had been delivered unarmed.

"The federal government will not speculate on subsequent arming," he said.

The report said Germany hoped to see Israeli concessions on settlements on Palestinian land and approval for the completion of a sewage treatment plant in the Gaza Strip in exchange for the assistance.

Israel sees its existence under threat if its arch-foe Iran goes nuclear. Like the United States, it has refused to rule out bombing Iranian nuclear sites.

Germany, bearing the historical guilt of the Holocaust, is Israel's closest ally in Europe.

But it has sharply criticised Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's pro-settlement policies in the West Bank and annexed east Jerusalem as undermining peace efforts with the Palestinians.

Tensions between Germany and Israel flared in April when Nobel prize-winning German author Gunter Grass published an inflammatory poem warning that a nuclear-armed Israel "could wipe out the Iranian people [with a] first strike".

  • Jameel - 2012-06-04 10:40

    Invasions based on speculations...

  • faerrab - 2012-06-04 10:55

    Treat Palestinians like humans and we will provide you with billions of dollars and Euors worth of weapons - Heil !!!!!!

      Jaba - 2012-06-04 11:57

      Did Israel start six wars? No they didn't; that was the Arabs. Has Israel engaged in seven decades of unrelenting terror? No, that would be the "Palestinians" who are guilty of such despicable acts of terror, killing thousands of innocent civilians. Get your facts straight, faerrab. You might also want to learn the meaning of the words "self defense."

      Jameel - 2012-06-04 12:07

      Jaba you lying we can name the victims and count them on one hand that have been killed by the Palestinians. However we cant say the same for the other side how many women and children has the Israeli army killed, cummon give us the numbers lets hear

      almeleh - 2012-06-04 12:57

      Jameel, if you can count them on one hand and name them. Please do. I bet you can't.

      Jaba - 2012-06-04 13:17

      The bottom line is, if Hamas and the other political groups in the disputed regions began acting more like civilised political parties rather than terrorists with the sole aim of killing Israeli civilians (remember, if Israel had the same aim this whole issue would have been put to bed years ago due to their military might) then Israel would not have a leg to stand on and the US and the west would have no choice but to put pressure to bear on Israel to make concessions to the now truly peaceful and democratic Palestinians. Israel has every right to use what ever it needs to fight Palestinian terrorism in self defence. Palestinians attacks, deaths and their use of human shields is a war crime done by Hamas. Had the Palestinians chose the path of peace then there would be no victims anymore, however due to the fact that the route of terror and violence was decided upon (just go Google Hamas charter) then all deaths - on both sides of the conflict is blamed on the aggressor being Hamas. Firing of missiles from residential areas in Gaza in order to provoke the Israeli defence forces to attack area where Mosques, schools and UN building where terrorists (for propaganda reasons) Is a crime by Hamas as they use these areas as military bases. When the Palestinians side renounce terror there will be peace... and that is the sad fact.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-04 14:46

      Unfortunately Palestinians are not treating themselves well by trying to garner sympathy by attacking Israel almost daily. All they need to do is choose peace, instead of teaching their children at Kindergarten to attack Israel.

  • Jaba - 2012-06-04 11:56

    This was old news from years ago. No one hid the nuke capabilities of the subs, neither Israel nor Germany. Suddenly this is news? Did it appear right after the headline "first transatlantic radio signal sent; Marconi hero". but of course, this is hypothetical since israel doesnt have nukes, at least never admitted to having them.

  • lesui07 - 2012-06-04 12:51

    I wonder why the mighty Israel relies on the millitary help from outside(USA,GERMANY).IF THEY CLAIM THEMSELVES TO BE A TECHNOLOGICAL and MILITARY SUPERPOWER,why don't they build their own NUKE SUBS.

      Paco - 2012-06-04 13:12

      because they too busy stealing land

      Larry - 2012-06-04 14:12

      Do you build your own bicycle from scratch or do you get one from a manufacturer who knows what they are doing and whose business is bicycles. What a dumb comment.

      Larry - 2012-06-04 21:29

      What is wonderful in all of this, is that Germany is such a friend and ally to Israel. Mazeltov and dankeschen.

  • lesui07 - 2012-06-04 13:00

    The Iranians will not be intimidated by those stupid tactics.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-04 14:43

      The Iranians are being intimidated by their own government, which has stolen the Iranian state from them by adjusting election results and denying women the right to run for office. The IAEA, the same body that dissuaded the US from invading Iraq, says the Iranian regime is hiding two nuclear facilities.

      Larry - 2012-06-04 18:52

      Israel's enemies will be secure when Israel is secure. That is how it works. Carrot and stick for the donkey.

      Larry - 2012-06-04 21:33

      I was referring to you and your very slow uptake of information. Your education here on these blogs is dismal. I give you a F, and its not for woodwork.

      Larry - 2012-06-05 19:49

      Your opinion counts for diddlysquat, on this site and anywhere else. Firstly, you make statements without backing up those statements with reasoned argument. You don't produce the logic, and when you attempt to do so, it reflects a nonsensicle notion far from the topical issue. A statement or a comment is not an 'opinion' unless you substantiate it with an explanation. You can move a stubborn donkey forward by dangling a carrot in front of its nose. Give it a go.

      Larry - 2012-06-05 21:12

      My point exactly. "Ditto" is not an answer nor an opinion. Its a copout. You just scampered into a hole because a bigger dog walked past. Now you will sit there until a smaller dog comes by for you to bark at. Woof woof.

      Larry - 2012-06-06 08:39

      It is not an insult, it is an observation explained in the form of an analogy. You are not refuting my opinion with a reasoned opinion of your own to explain yourself.

      Larry - 2012-06-06 21:21

      You can't give a reasoned opinion. Full stop.

      Larry - 2012-06-08 15:07

      Was that your last working brain cell?

  • perritob - 2012-06-05 09:10

    jaba.kov wrote. Did Israel start six wars? (NO ONLY ONE THE DAY THEY ARRIVED IN PALESTINE, AND IT STILL CONTINUES.) No they didn't; that was the Arabs. Has Israel engaged in seven decades of unrelenting terror? (YES THEY HAVE AND ARE STILL DOING IT ON DAILY BASIS) No, that would be the "Palestinians" who are guilty of such despicable acts(NO AGAIN THAT IS ISRALE YOU ARE TALKING ABOUT AGAIN) of terror, killing thousands of innocent civilians. Get your facts straight, faerrab. You might also want to learn the meaning of the words "self defense." (SELF DEFENCE IS WHAT THE PALESTINIANS HAVE BEEN DOING SINCE ZIONISTS ARRIVED IN PALESTINE, DEFENDING THEIR LAND, WOMAN, CHILDREN FROM THE ZIONISTS, THAT EVERYDAY IS KILLING INNOCENT PEOPLE, TAKING THEIR LAND AND CREAING THE BIGGEST JAIL EVER WITH THE APARTHEID WALL. ZIOISRAEL IS COMMITING CRIME AGAINST HUMANITY EVERY SINGEL DAY.

      Larry - 2012-06-05 21:13

      Thanks. What do you think?

      Larry - 2012-06-06 11:07

      ...and you are a fraud. Patrick is Lesego. Woof.

      fred.fraser.12 - 2012-06-06 20:13

      Israel was created from 52% of the land formerly occupied by the Jewish and Palestinian people, and Palestine 43%. Most of the Israeli territory was the Negev Desert. Jerusalem fell into neither territory. The Palestinians with their unelected neighbors declared war on Israel the very next day. That was in 1947. In the 1960's they invaded Israel twice. Full military invasions. Israel survived and pushed them back, gaining territory in the process. This is the origin of what you wrongly call the occupied territories. There have been almost daily attacks by Palestinians, incited by their self-serving unelected neighbors. Palestinians even teach their children at Kindergarten to attack Israel, rather than be peaceful. Children. Kindergarten. From day one, and even today it's wage war on Israel. The aim is to garner international sympathy, pity really, when Israel defends herself. In the process, however, Palestinians get more and more hurt, and suffer more. All that needs to happen is for them to choose peace side by side with Israel. That's it. That's all that's needed. The entire situation will change almost overnight. The world will rush to help. All kinds of resources will pour into Palestine. This is more likely going forward, because the unelected dictators are being removed from power by their people one by one. They will no longer use the Palestinians for their own political reasons. It's important that you understand this.

      Iqbal - 2012-06-06 20:46

      Fred "stuck-record-n-prostitute" Fraser. Still doing what he does best. Copying and pasting garbage from the Zionist Propaganda Service repository, replete with lies, deceit and distortions - the very same way the illegitimate racist zionist regime was cooked up.

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