Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said that the reasons he approved the German submarine sale to Egypt are “state secrets”, Israeli media reported yesterday.
According to Haaretz, Netanyahu admitted that the decision was made without the knowledge of the defence minister, but at the same time he denied making financial gains as a result of the sale.
In a surprise interview with the Israeli TV Channel 12, Netanyahu said he could not reveal his reasons for authorising the sale of submarines to Egypt because they are state secrets.
He said: “My reasons are security reasons and security reasons alone. The State of Israel has secrets that only the prime minister knows and a handful of people.”
Germany had not needed Israel’s formal approval for the sale to Egypt, Haaretz reported, but because of the special relationship between Israel and Germany, Berlin approached Israel on the issue.
Netanyahu said that these allegations are meant to undermine his political career.
Last week it was revealed that Netanyahu could face more corruption charges after new details of his role in the so-called submarine affair emerged.
Although previously Netanyahu was not a suspect and was only being interviewed as a witness in the case, new details which emerged prompted Israel’s state prosecution to consider opening a corruption investigation against him.
In April, 2017, Israel’s Channel 10 reported that Tel Aviv had approved the sale of four German submarines to Egypt.
In December 2016, Egypt received the first submarine and received the second one in August 2017.