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BERLIN (Reuters) - The German government has approved the sale of three Thyssenkrupp submarines to Israel and will provide financial support for the purchase, government spokesman Steffen Seibert told a regular news conference on Monday.

The estimated $2 billion (1.51 billion pounds) deal has attracted attention because of a corruption scandal centred on Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's personal lawyer, who also represented Thyssenkrupp Marine Systems' agent in Israel.

Seibert said an inter-governmental memorandum of understanding approving the deal would be signed later on Monday.

(Reporting by Tom Koerkemeier; writing by Thomas Escritt; editing by Jason Neely)

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