BBC NEWS Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific Arabic Persian Pashto Turkish French
BBCi NEWS   SPORT   WEATHER   WORLD SERVICE   A-Z INDEX     

BBC News World Edition
 You are in: Middle East  
News Front Page
Africa
Americas
Asia-Pacific
Europe
Middle East
South Asia
UK
Business
Entertainment
Science/Nature
Technology
Health
-------------
Talking Point
-------------
Country Profiles
In Depth
-------------
Programmes
-------------
BBC Sport
BBC Weather
SERVICES
-------------
LANGUAGES
EDITIONS
Wednesday, 27 November, 2002, 02:03 GMT
Germany to supply missiles to Israel
A Patriot missile fire over Israel in 1991
Israel used Patriots - with limited success - in 1991
Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder has agreed to sell defensive military systems to Israel, saying it is his country's "historic and moral duty".

The sale or lease of the Patriot systems could help Israel to prevent attacks from Iraq should conflict erupt there.


If the Israeli Government feels it needs this added security, we will help - and promptly

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
Germany has strongly opposed American belligerence towards Iraqi President Saddam Hussein and Mr Schroeder has made it clear that Germany would not join any US-led war.

Israel first asked for the weapons more than a year ago, and has recently renewed its request against the background of rising tension over Iraq.

Mr Schroeder told Die Zeit newspaper he would be happy to help Israel with a system that is not used for attacks but as protection against incoming missiles.

"If the Israeli Government feels it needs this added security, we will help - and promptly," he was quoted as saying in the interview, which is scheduled to be published on Thursday.

"This is our moral and historic duty," he said.

Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder
Gerhard Schroeder stressed that the missiles were purely for defence
"The security of the Israeli state and its citizens is of utmost importance to us," he said, referring to Germany's Nazi past when Jews were targeted for extermination.

In the last Gulf War, Iraq fired 39 Scud missiles into Israel.

The US-built Patriot systems are designed to intercept and destroy incoming missiles and though they failed to stop most of the Scuds, they have since been upgraded.

The Reuters news agency reported that the German military has said it has six Patriot systems which it no longer needs.


Key stories

Analysis

CLICKABLE GUIDE

BBC WORLD SERVICE

AUDIO VIDEO

TALKING POINT
See also:

18 Nov 02 | Middle East
17 Sep 02 | Europe
07 Feb 02 | Middle East
19 Feb 01 | Middle East
01 Sep 00 | Middle East
Internet links:


The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

Links to more Middle East stories are at the foot of the page.


E-mail this story to a friend

Links to more Middle East stories

© BBC ^^ Back to top

News Front Page | Africa | Americas | Asia-Pacific | Europe | Middle East |
South Asia | UK | Business | Entertainment | Science/Nature |
Technology | Health | Talking Point | Country Profiles | In Depth |
Programmes