Israeli arms

Arms exports to Israel pose ethical and juridical problems, which stand in contradiction with the European Common Position on arms exports.

Although a small country of less than 7 million inhabitants, Israel was the world’s largest recipient of conventional weapons between 2003 and 2007, and, in 2006, the 5th largest supplier. Compared to the US, which supplies about 95% of Israel’s arms import, Europe is only a secondary source of weapons. European countries still have substantial military-industrial ties, and the mutual interest is growing.

The EU also imports weapons from Israel, often produced with European partner companies. By buying Israeli weapons, Europe supports the Israeli military industry. “We rely on our local industry to provide the most advanced and innovative technologies to meet security needs” a senior Israeli defence official was quoted in Defense News “and these needs cannot be met without extraordinary success in the world market.”

Europe is an important economic partner of Israel. Instead of strengthening its military relations with Israel it could use its position to promote a peaceful solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict.

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