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Majority of Israel's weapons imports from US, German companies, report reveals

March 25, 2024 at 4:56 pm

Israeli soldiers, tanks, howitzers and armored vehicles are seen as Israeli military mobility continues on the Gaza border, in Nahal Oz, Israel on December 13, 2023 [Mostafa Alkharouf – Anadolu Agency]

With increasing pressure from critics of Israel globally to stop supplying weapons to Israel,  citing concerns that such weapons are being used to commit serious crimes against civilians in Gaza, recent data reveals that the majority of Israel’s weapons imports originate from companies based in the United States and Germany.

According to research conducted by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), 69 per cent of Israel’s arms acquisitions are sourced from US firms, with 30 per cent coming from Germany and 0.9 per cent from Italy.

“At the end of 2023, the USA rapidly delivered thousands of guided bombs and missiles to Israel, but the total volume of Israeli arms imports from the USA in 2023 was almost the same as in 2022. By the end of 2023, pending deliveries of major arms to Israel included 61 combat aircraft from the USA and 4 submarines from Germany,” the SIPRI report read.

It added that the sale of fighter jets by the US to Israel in recent decades has played “a major role in Israel’s military actions against Hamas and Hezbollah.”

With the exception of one helicopter manufactured by France’s Airbus Helicopters, all manned aircraft in the Israeli Air Force are of American origin, reported the Times of Israel.

Israel heavily relies on foreign suppliers for numerous components of its warplanes, helicopters, warships and submarines including countries like the United Kingdom (UK), Canada and the Netherlands.

The UK has continued to provide military support to Israel despite international concerns surrounding Israel’s actions in the occupied Palestinian territories, with UK manufacturers supplying 15 per cent of the components for F-35 fighter jets. The Ministry of Defence also recently revealed that nine Israeli military aircraft have been authorised to land at and depart from UK bases, and approximately 50 Royal Air Force aircraft have made flights to Israel since 7 October.

Hundreds of politicians from 12 countries have called for an arms embargo on Israel, deeming it a necessary action on both moral and legal grounds. This movement comes after the Court of Appeal in The Hague mandated the Netherlands halt the export of F-35 components, highlighting concerns over potential complicity in Israel’s ongoing human rights violations in Gaza.

Canada’s Minister of Foreign Affairs, Melanie Joly, also announced last week the halt of arms exports to Israel in light of the ongoing aggression on the besieged enclave.

The casualty count since 7 October has now reached 32,226 Palestinians, mostly women and children, and 74,518 others injured.

Moreover, the war has pushed 85 per cent of the territory’s population out of their homes, destroyed or damaged most of the enclave’s infrastructure and created conditions for a famine as aid deliveries remain woefully insufficient.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which, in an interim ruling in January, ordered Tel Aviv to stop genocidal acts and take measures to guarantee that humanitarian assistance is provided to civilians in Gaza.

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