Despite Gaza Genocide, Israel’s Defense Exports Reach Historic High

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant. (Design: Palestine Chronicle)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

Gallant stated, “Israel continues to succeed in its international cooperation and industrial defense exports even during a year marked by the Gaza war.”

Israel’s defense exports reached a new record of $13 billion in 2023, despite the ongoing, widely condemned war on Gaza, according to official data released on Monday.

The Israeli Defense Ministry reported that missile and air defense systems made up 36% of the total exports, followed by radar and electronic warfare (11 percent), weapon stations and launchers (11%), manned aircraft and avionics (9%), ammunition and arms (8%), surveillance and electronics (5%), armored vehicles and troop carriers (5%), intelligence and cyber systems (4%), unmanned aerial vehicles (4%), communication systems (4%), satellites and space systems (2%), and naval systems (1%).

Outrage over Rafah – France Bars Israeli Military Firms from Eurosatory Arms Expo

Almost half of these exports, 48 percent, were directed to the Asia-Pacific region, with Europe receiving 35 percent, North America 9 percent, Latin America 4 percent, the United Arab Emirates and Bahrain, 3 percent, and Africa 1 percent.

Regarding the financial value of these export deals, 40 percent of the contracts were worth over $100 million, 17 percent between $50-100 million, 23 percent were up to $50 million, and 20 percent were up to $10 million.

Eyal Zamir from the Defense Ministry and Yair Kulas, director of international defense cooperation, announced the record-breaking defense export figure of $13.07 billion for 2023.

Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant stated, “Israel continues to succeed in its international cooperation and industrial defense exports even during a year marked by the Gaza war.”

Morally Incoherent

On March 31, French authorities barred Israeli military businesses from participating in a trade expo near Paris in June. 

“Following a decision by government authorities, there will not be an Israeli stand at the Eurosatory 2024 salon,” a spokesperson for the organizers said via email.

The Defense Ministry told Reuters news agency that “conditions are no longer met to host Israeli companies at the show at a time when the President is calling for Israel to cease operations in Rafah.”

However, the exchange of weapons with Israel has continued throughout the eight months of genocide in Gaza. 

On Sunday, the head of Oxfam UK, Halima Begun, described the British government’s approach to supplying arms to Israel as intellectually and morally incoherent”.

“Whether you say they are components or whole weapons (being sold) is a moot point, because individual components collectively constitute these devices that are killing so many innocent people. The UK needs to stop selling these arms,” she told The Guardian.

‘Morally Incoherent’ – Oxfam Head Slams UK Govt’s Arms Supply to Israel

“The government can’t simultaneously give humanitarian aid and talk about its aspirations for peace in the region, then also ship bombs – it’s intellectually and morally incoherent,” Begum said. “That the law doesn’t prevent the trade seems immaterial. If you knowingly sell weapons that are being used to kill thousands of innocent children and their parents, why would you continue?”

The paper said government figures published a week ago showed that the UK issued 108 licenses to Israel between October 7 and May 31, “and that no arms export license application has been rejected or revoked during that timeframe.”

Ongoing Genocide

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7. 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 37,347 Palestinians have been killed, and 85,372 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children. 

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The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(PC, Anadolu)

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