SHAFAQNA (Shia International News Association)- German churches have expressed concern over the country’s rising arms sales to North African and Middle Eastern countries, saying the export of arms to conflict regions should stop.
In its 2014 report, the Joint Church and Development Conference (GKKE) said based on figures from the first half of 2014, the share of export licenses to countries outside the EU and NATO has reached a record high at 63 percent which is “unacceptable.”
“We are concerned about the growing significance of Middle East and North Africa countries in German military exports,” GKKE said in its report released on Monday, adding, “In view of the considerable criticism of human rights situation in some of these countries, and comprehensive observations on the situation of the internal conflicts there, GKKE opposes arms exports to these regions.”
The group particularly lashed out at Germany – the world’s third biggest arms exporter – for selling submarines to Israel and patrol boats to Saudi Arabia.
Israel, Saudi Arabia, Algeria and Indonesia have “a very bad human rights situation,” the GKKE said.
In April 2013, Israel received its fifth $500 million Dolphin-class submarine, the INS Rahav, from Germany which could carry missiles armed with nuclear warheads.
Israel’s first three Dolphin-class submarines are believed to be some of the most sophisticated diesel-electric submarines in the world. The fourth submarine, the INS Tanin, the first of the new generation Dolphin II submarines, was delivered in May 2012.
Germany donated the first two submarines after the first Persian Gulf War and agreed to cover a third of the cost of the third one.
In March 2012, Israel signed a contract for a sixth Dolphin-class submarine to be delivered in a few years.
The Israeli regime is widely believed to be the only possessor of nuclear arms in the Middle East. The regime reportedly maintains between 200 and 400 atomic warheads.