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      Netanyahu Thanks Merkel for Submarine

      PM Netanyahu thanks Chancellor Merkel for agreeing to provide Israel with submarine, says it will help Israel's security needs.
      By Elad Benari
      First Publish: 3/22/2012, 7:13 AM

      Dolphin class submarine
      Dolphin class submarine
      Flash 90

      Prime Minister Binyamin Netanyahu thanked German Chancellor Angela Merkel on Wednesday for the agreement to provide Israel with an additional submarine

      In a letter he sent to Chancellor Merkel, Netanyahu wrote, “I would like to thank you, both personally and on behalf of the Government of Israel, for your agreement to provide Israel with an additional submarine. This step will help us meet Israel’s considerable security needs in these stormy times and will, over time, greatly contribute to the security of the Jewish state.”

      Earlier on Wednesday, Israel and Germany signed the contract for the purchasing of the a submarine, in a special ceremony attended by Defense Minister Ehud Barak, Defense Ministry CEO, Maj. Gen. (res.) Udi Shani and Secretary of State of the German Federal Defense Ministry, Wolf Rudiger.

      Defense Minister Ehud Barak said that "the sixth submarine multiplies the force and capability of the IDF and the State of Israel in the face of the growing challenges. The agreement indicates our cooperation with Germany and the German government's obligation to the security of Israel."

      Barak stressed that "the Israeli Navy has been undergoing strategic changes over the past few years, which place it at the helm of Israel's security and the extent of the IDF's capabilities."

      According to the deal struck between Israel and Germany, Germany will finance a third of the submarine's costs. Two of Israel's other Dolphins were paid for by Germany, while the third was half-funded by Israel. Two more are under construction.