Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has praised and thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel for her commitment to Israel’s security by the recent sale to Tel Aviv of a submarine that is capable of being armed with atomic warheads.
“I take her commitment to Israel very seriously,” said Netanyahu in an exclusive interview with German Bild newspaper on Tuesday. “There is a commitment to Israel’s security that is exemplified by the recent sale of another German submarine, an important adjunct to our national security.”
Asked whether there could be a scenario in which German troops would fight for Israel, Netanyahu replied, “While I appreciate Germany’s concern for Israel’s security, the most important assistance that can be given to Israel is – to paraphrase Churchill — to give us the tools and we will do the job of defending ourselves.”
The Israeli premiere went on to reiterate that the sale of the nuclear-capable German submarines to the regime was “very important” for defending Israel’s security.
Although the German newspaper did not mention the capability of the submarine, prominent German news magazine Der Speigel revealed in a report a couple of days earlier that the Israeli government “is arming the submarines with nuclear-tipped cruise missiles.” The magazine further noted that the German government “has known about Israel’s nuclear weapons program for decades, despite its official denials.”
According to Spiegel, a German shipyard in the northern city of Kiel has already built three Dolphin submarines for Israel, which has been largely paid for by the German government and delivered to Tel Aviv, and deliveries of three more are planned.
Tel Aviv is widely believed to possess hundreds of nuclear warheads. Israel neither denies nor confirms its possession of the atomic arms under its policy of nuclear ambiguity. The government, furthermore, has never allowed any international inspection of its nuclear sites and persistently refuses to sign the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty (NPT).