Israel’s arms exports from 2015-2019 were the highest ever, according to a new report by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), reported the Jerusalem Post.
The figure for the four-year period was 77 per cent higher than in 2010-2014, said SIPRI.
Israeli arms exports constituted three per cent of the global total, said the report, with Israel the world’s eighth-largest arms supplier. The top three buyers of Israeli arms were India (45 per cent), Azerbaijan (17 per cent) and Vietnam (8.5 per cent).
The top three arms suppliers to Israel, meanwhile, were the US (78 per cent), Germany (16 per cent) and Italy (6.2 per cent).
Israel’s own military spending was $15.9 billion in 2018, a small increase of 0.7 per cent compared with 2017, the report stated.
The SIPRI report found that, overall, there was a 5.5 per cent increase in arms transfers over the past decade and a 20 per cent increase from 2005-2009, stated the Jerusalem Post.
This included a continued increase in arms transfers to the Middle East (61 per cent), with the five largest importers Saudi Arabia, India, Egypt, Australia and China.
Within the Middle East, Saudi Arabia received 35 per cent of all arms transfers to the region, followed by Egypt (16 per cent), the UAE (9.7 per cent), Iraq (9.7 per cent) and Qatar (9.6 per cent).
Once again, the US was the top arms exporter in the world, “delivering air-defence systems, armoured vehicles, missiles and satellites, among other materiel, to 96 countries”.
American arms exports to the Middle East increased 79 per cent over the last decade and in 2015-2019 accounted for 51 per cent of total US arms exports, the report said.