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Posted: 4/10/2002 9:38:41 PM EDT
[url]www.haaretzdaily.com/hasen/pages/ShArt.jhtml? itemNo=149742&contrassID=2&subContrassID=1&sbSubContrassID=0&listSrc=Y[/url] Europeans embargo sale of defense supplies to Israel By Amnon Barzilai Germany, France and England are imposing an embargo on sales of certain defense equipment to Israel, a senior defense official here said yesterday. Reports from Israeli missions in Europe say that nearly all western European countries have delayed or are dragging their feet providing export approval to parts for security purposes. The steps were taken without any formal decision by the European Union. As a result of the delays, parts for the Merkava tank engine and gear box have been delayed in Germany for more than three months. The parts are for both current generation Merkava V-IIIs and for the next generation of the tank, the V-IV, which goes into production in early 2003. German authorities are not confirming there is an embargo on the parts. Defense Ministry Director-General Amos Yaron talked it over with his counterpart at the German Defense Ministry and with German Foreign Minister Joschke Fischer. Both said they would look into the matter. Defense Ministry sources said the steps against Israel were taken in the wake of international reports that Merkava tanks are being used in the hostilities against the Palestinians. As a result, Green organizations that support the German government coalition applied heavy pressure on the Social Democrats in Germany to cease all defense sales to Israel. The Greens object to any German involvement where there is violence, and oppose any military aid to those places where violence takes place. The cooperation between Germany and Israel on the Merkava began in the beginning of the 1980s with technology know-how transfers regarding the power train and gears of the tank. The know-how was given to the Ashot plant in Ashkelon, a subsidiary of Israel Military Industries. The cooperation widened in recent years when a 1,500 horsepower engine made by Germany's MTU corporation was chosen for the V-IV. The company built the engines for the three new German-made submarines currently in the Israeli navy. The experience with MTU was widened to include American involvement, with General Dynamics, manufacturers of the Abrams tank, which is equipped with an MTU engine. Because of the three-way venture, Israel is able to use American military grant funds to make purchases from Germany. According to Yaron, he is in touch with the German government on the issue, and the delays should be regarded as "temporary."
Link Posted: 4/10/2002 10:17:18 PM EDT
Cool, now they can buy our stuff!!! They ought to anyway, dammint. They're buying it with OUR MONEY.
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