Israel increased its arms export by 77 percent in 2015-2019, compared to the five previous years, and is currently the eighth largest arms exporter in the world, according to new data published Monday by the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.
Israel's arms exports hit a record $9 billion in 2017, after it closed its biggest-ever arms deal with India.
The world's top 5 arms exporters are the United States, Russia, France, Germany and China. The world's top three arms importers are Saudi Arabia, India and Egypt, whose arms imports have tripled since president Abdel Fattah el-Sissi assumed office. The United Arab Emirates, which has been militarily involved in Libya as well as Yemen over the past five years, is the world's eighth-largest arms importer.
The report shows that the flow arms into the Middle East has increased by 61 per cent over the past five years. “Half of U.S. arms exports in the past five years went to the Middle East, and half of those went to Saudi Arabia,” said a senior researcher at the institute.
The report showed that despite international concern over Saudi Arabia's military campaign in Yemen, major countries continue exporting arms to the gulf kingdom, with 73 percent coming from the U.S. And 17 percent from the United Kingdom.
The report also noted a sharp increase in arms export from the United States and France, while noting a decrease in Russian exports, attributed to a decline in sales to India, which now receives 14 percent of its imports from Israel.
Turkey registered a decline in arms imports in past years, despite its ongoing military intervention in Syria. This decrease in imports can be explained by delays in delivery of arms, the cancellation of the F-35 fighter jets deal with the U.S. and developments in local arms industry.