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Merkel Defends Arms Sales to Israel as Obligation for Nazi Past

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with soldiers during a visit to the German army at the barracks in Letzlingen, Germany, Tuesday, November 14, 2006.

German Chancellor Angela Merkel speaks with soldiers during a visit to the German army at the barracks in Letzlingen, Germany, Tuesday, November 14, 2006.

Photographer: JOCHEN ECKEL

Chancellor Angela Merkel defended Germany’s sale of weapons to Israel, saying her country has a responsibility to help protect the Jewish state given that 6 million Jews died under the Nazi regime in World War II.

“We sell weapons to Israel because we believe that Israel must defend itself and is often attacked,” Merkel told students on Tuesday at a Berlin school. “We also believe that Germany has a special obligation to support Israel.”