JERUSALEM (JTA) – Israel and Germany have signed a controversial agreement under which Israel will purchase three submarines for $2.3 billion US in a deal that has been marred by corruption allegations.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu announced the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding on Monday at the start of the Knesset’s winter session.
The controversy includes Netanyahu’s personal lawyer also acting as the representative for the German submarine company’s negotiating agent and the alleged payment of bribes. Several Israeli officials have been questioned and arrested in the investigation known in Israel as Case 3000.
Netanyahu in a statement issued by his office said the memorandum was “strategically important to the security of Israel.”
“Its signing reflects the commitment of Germany and Chancellor Angela Merkel to the security of Israel and the deep cooperation between the two countries,” he said.
Germany had deferred signing the deal in July when the scandal broke in Israel. The agreement has been amended to allow Germany to cancel if any of the corruption allegations lead to indictments, according to Israeli reports.
The German government committed to helping fund the submarines, though no details have been released.