Representatives of Myanmar’s military were in attendance at Israel’s “largest, government-supported security and weapons conference in Tel Aviv” on Tuesday, reported +972 Magazine.
According to reports, “the officials arrived at the Tel Aviv Expo Centre for the International Defence, HLS & Cyber Expo, known as ISDEF, in full military gear”.
The military representatives “browsed through defence equipment and technologies produced by Israeli and international companies, alongside delegates of dozens of more countries”.
The article noted that “Israel supposedly stopped selling advanced weaponry to Myanmar in 2017” following petitions filed to Israel’s Supreme Court by human rights activists and attorney Eitay Mack.
However, the court has kept its ruling secret, “and Israel does not allow any official publication of its arms trade with Myanmar”. Some of the arms that Israel is confirmed to have previously supplied “include rifles, gunboats, and military training”.
A UN Fact-Finding Mission stated that the military “has committed massive violations against the Rohingya people…including gang rapes, forced disappearances, and the burning of hundreds of villages”. The UN found that the atrocities amount to crimes against humanity and genocide.
972+ Magazine noted that “Israel has a history of selling weapons to dictatorships, among them the juntas in Argentina and Bolivia, Rwanda in the years leading up to the genocide, among others”.
Activists with Amnesty International, the Hamushim (“Armed” in Hebrew) Project, and the Israeli grassroots group Standing Together protested outside the conference venue.
“We demand that Israel stop producing arms and surveillance equipment to countries that commit grave human rights violations,” said Chen Bril Egri, Amnesty’s head of campaigns for refugees and asylum seekers.
We explained to potential customers that the Israeli arms they are purchasing were used to commit genocide in Myanmar, ethnic cleansing in Sudan, extrajudicial killings in the Philippines, in addition to surveillance against regime resistors and human rights activists in Mexico and the UAE.