NOW THEY NEED OUR HELP: Israeli arms exports to Europe double amid Muslim refugee crisis
Surge in sales to Europe offsets poor showings in Asia, Africa, Latin America. Arms sales expected to continue modest rise in 2016.
Israel signed contract for arms deals worth $5.7 billion last year, a slight increase over 2014 but down sharply from 2013 levels, Michel Ben-Baruch, head of Sibat, the Defense Ministry’s defense export agency, said on Wednesday.
“Completing a challenging year, we succeeded through collaborative and determined work to preserve the scope of contract signings compared to 2014,” he said, citing $5.6 billion of new orders in 2014 and $6.5 billion in 2013.
In contrast to the modest gains in general, sales to Europe more than doubled last year to $1.63 billion from $724 million, presumably as a consequence of the refugee crisis and the rise in terror attacks on the continent.
Sales to North America also climbed, to $1.02 billion.
The Defense Ministry noted that Israel remains one of the world’s top 10 defense exporters and investors in technology to overcome “operational difficulties posed by asymmetric warfare and the importance of precise munitions and real-time intelligence.”
The majority of Israeli arms exports were to Asia and Europe, according to the report, despite the fact that exports to the former dropped from $3 billion in 2014 to $2.3 billion in 2015. Exports
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