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March 12, 2019 11:09 am

Israel Is the Eighth Largest Arms Exporter In the World

avatar by Adi Pick / CTech

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IDF soldiers speak next to a line of tanks in an open area near Israel’s border with the Gaza Strip, Oct. 18, 2018. Photo: Reuters / Amir Cohen.

CTech – In 2018, Israel was the eighth largest arms exporter in the world, according to the annual arms transfer report released Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), an institute dedicated to research into conflict, armaments, arms control, and disarmament.

Israel was the seventh largest exporter of weapons in the world between 2014 and 2017, according to SIPRI’s previous annual report, accounting for 3.1 percent of the global arms trade, up from 2.1 percent in the four years prior. The five largest suppliers — the US, Russia, France, Germany, and China — made up 75 percent of all arms exports.

Over the past decade, Israeli arms exports increased by 60 percent, according to SIPRI’s report. In comparison, American arms exports increased by nearly 30 percent, and Russia saw a 17 percent decrease in its outgoing arms trade.

The export of Israeli arms reached $9.2 billion in 2017, up 41.5 percent from 2016, according to data released by the Israeli ministry of defense in May. The striking increase was bolstered by $2 billion worth of missile system deals between state-owned Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) and India.

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Three Israeli weapon manufacturers were among the 100 companies worldwide to make the most money by selling arms in 2017, according to SIPRI. Nasdaq-listed Elbit Systems ranked 28th on the list, IAI snagged the 41st spot, while Rafael Advanced Defense Systems ranked 45th.

In recent years, the sales of Israeli-made weapons to regimes violating human rights has been criticized by a small group of Israeli lawmakers and activists.

The world’s largest weapons importers are Saudi Arabia, India, and Egypt. Israel supplied 15 percent of India’s arms imports from 2014-2018, compared to just 12 percent from the US, according to the report. Israel was the world’s 15th largest weapons importer during this period.

According to an April report by the Congressional Research Service, a public policy research arm of the US Congress. The US pledged to provide $38 billion in military aid to Israel from 2019-2028. The Memorandum of Understanding also states that, beginning in 2019, Israel must gradually shift all its aid money spending to US-made weapons.

Sixty-four percent of Israeli arms imports between 2014 and 2018 came from the US, according to SIPRI.

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