Gantz Held Security-related Meetings in Singapore

According to foreign reports, Singapore is one of the main importers of Israeli weapons, and a clutch of Israeli security firms have representatives in the country

Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich
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Defense Minister Benny Gantz in the Knesset, this month.
Defense Minister Benny Gantz in the Knesset, this month.Credit: Emil Salman
Yaniv Kubovich
Yaniv Kubovich

Defense Minister Benny Gantz returned from Singapore Thursday after holding security-related meetings in this vital arms export market.

Gantz's office told reporters about the trip, but it was only publicized a day after the defense minister returned to Israel. Gantz had left for Singapore on Sunday with several aids, his office said.

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According to foreign reports, Singapore is one of the main importers of Israeli weapons, and a clutch of Israeli security firms have representatives in the country.

In 2010, Defense News reported that Singapore is on the cusp of acquiring batteries of the Iron Dome missile defense system. Singapore's air force has a squadron of Hermes 450 drones that are made by the Israeli company Elbit Systems.

Singaporean Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, in August.Credit: Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

Another squadron uses the Heron drone that is manufactured by Israel Aerospace Industries. Every two years, Israel sends an air show delegation to Singapore.

Israel has had security ties with Singapore for over 50 years, and the Israeli military helped the Asian country build its army. Singapore is also vital because it is situated between two big Islamic countries – Malaysia and Indonesia.

The Israeli military's attaché in Singapore is a brigadier general, and in recent years air force pilots have been filling the position.

Relations between the two countries are considered especially close and warm, starting during the regime of Singapore's first prime minister and co-founder, Lee Kuan Yew, the father of the current prime minister, Lee Hsien Loong.

In 2016, Lee Hsien Loong arrived for a historic visit to Israel and became the first Singaporean prime minister to visit the country.

Singapore was founded in 1956 and established diplomatic relations with Israel in 1969.

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