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Israel arms sales peak despite Lebanon war fallout

Well, there you have it. Notwithstanding that arms deals may take many months and so started before the assault on Lebanon, that’s no excuse — isn’t the brutal occupation of Palestine enough? Noooo, according to the very last statement in this article, that simply served as an advertisement for these reprehensible weapons.

Israel is currently the fourth largest arms supplier in the world. See also:
Survey: Israel worst brand name in the world


Israel arms sales peak despite Lebanon war fallout

Source: Reuters Alert Net | 17 Dec 2006 10:23:52 GMT

By Dan Williams JERUSALEM, Dec 17 (Reuters) – Israel’s defence exports hit record levels in 2006, an official said on Sunday, despite predictions they would be hurt by the Israeli military’s tactical setbacks during its war in Lebanon. Foreign analysts had said the 34-day offensive, which drove Hezbollah guerrillas from the Lebanese frontier but did not destroy their missile capability or kill top leaders, risked tarnishing the “battle-proven” reputation of Israeli weaponry.

Especially intense scrutiny fell on vaunted Israeli air force systems such as technology designed to reduce the time taken for warplanes, helicopter gunships or armed drones to detect and attack threats on the ground.

But Israel’s Defence Ministry said that by the end of November arms firms had sealed $4.1 billion in new foreign orders for 2006, surpassing the previous peak — $4.02 billion — reached in the same period in 2002.

Ministry spokeswoman Rachel Naidek-Ashkenazi said that while final 2006 figures would not be available until next year, she expected the upswing in sales to continue through December.

“It’s a record year,” she said. U.S. journal Defense News reported that Israel’s exports account for 10 percent of global arms sales, making it the 4th-biggest supplier after the United States, Russia and France.

Naidek-Ashkenazi noted that international defence deals often take years to put together and the impact of the Lebanon war on Israeli clients might not yet have been felt. But she said: “We expect the pattern of increased sales to continue, unaffected by the recent campaign in Lebanon. Clients are prudent. They know they can trust battle-proven experience, and they go to the trouble of finding out the facts.”

During the Lebanon war, Hezbollah rained 4,000 mostly short-range missiles on northern Israel, an assault that Israeli air strikes against launcher positions did little to stem. Air force commanders said they had decided to focus on destroying longer-range Hezbollah missiles on the ground while largely overlooking smaller, less detectable Katyusha rockets. “The wartime perception was shaped by the fact Hezbollah kept shooting Katyushas, but no one anywhere in the world has an answer for this sort of threat,” Naidek-Ashkenazi said.

Defense News quoted Israeli security experts as attributing many of the new contracts to Israel’s perceived successes in battling Palestinian militants in the West Bank and Gaza Strip. [Apartheid and occupation as an advertisement for weapons!]

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