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Record Arms Sales Surge Amid Ongoing Gaza Conflict: Israel's Unprecedented Export Growth

Record Arms Sales Surge Amid Ongoing Gaza Conflict: Israel's Unprecedented Export Growth

Record Arms Sales for Israel Amid Ongoing Gaza Conflict

According to a statement from Israel's defense ministry, the country's arms exports for 2023 reached an all-time high. This comes as the war in Gaza enters its ninth month and as the Israeli military continues to receive hundreds of millions of dollars in American weapons.

Increased Arms Exports

The defense ministry reported that the total exports of Israeli arms reached $13.1 billion in 2022, marking an increase of $500 million from the previous year and doubling the export amount from five years prior. Over a third of the sales consisted of missiles, rockets, and air-defense systems. One of the most significant contracts in 2023 was with Germany, which agreed to buy the Arrow 3 long-range air defense system for approximately $4 billion. Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated, "While our industries are primarily focused on providing the defense establishment with the capabilities to support our troops and defend our citizens, they are also continuing to pursue areas of cooperation and exports to international partners."

Global Sales Distribution

The report showed that roughly 48 percent of all sales were made to the Asia and Pacific region, while 35 percent of sales were accounted for by Europe, and North America represented nine percent. These figures were revealed at a time when an increasing number of countries have started to boycott or suspend their purchase of weaponry from Israel. This is due to Israel's ongoing destruction of Gaza and the killing of tens of thousands of Palestinians there.

International Criticism

Colombia, for instance, announced a pause in its purchases of Israeli arms after its president, Gustavo Petro, labeled Israel's actions in Gaza as genocide. Similarly, a French court prohibited Israeli companies from participating in an annual defense industry exhibition. The French defense ministry suggested this move was likely due to France's objection to an Israeli assault on Rafah, a city in Gaza where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from Israeli bombardment.

Focus on International Market

Despite the ongoing conflict at home, Israeli weapons manufacturers have been asked to prioritize supplies to the Israeli military. However, with no end to the war in sight, these companies are now focusing on the international market. Gideon Weiss, vice president for international business development at Rafael, stated, "If Rafael wants to be able to provide for Israel as well as stay ahead of the game in research and development, we need international markets, which are our only assurance for real growth."

US Support for Israel

The US has been a significant supporter of Israel's war efforts, providing tens of thousands of weapons, including precision bombs and ammunition. Currently, Israel has approximately $23 billion worth of active military contracts with the US. The US has been Israel's largest weapons supplier for years, accounting for 69 percent of Israeli arms imports between 2019 and 2023, according to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (Sipri). The US also gives Israel $3.8 billion in military assistance annually. Many of these recent arms transfers, due to their size and individual cost, have largely gone unnoticed by the public, making it challenging to determine the true extent of US weapons sent to Israel since October.

Closing Thoughts

The ongoing conflict in Gaza and the record arms sales by Israel raise important questions about the global arms trade and its impact on international conflicts. What are your thoughts on this issue? Share this article with your friends and discuss. Don't forget to sign up for the Daily Briefing, which is available every day at 6pm.

Some articles will contain credit or partial credit to other authors even if we do not repost the article and are only inspired by the original content.

Some articles will contain credit or partial credit to other authors even if we do not repost the article and are only inspired by the original content.

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