Four Israeli Firms Join Global Arms Dealers' List

Elbit Systems, Rafael appear in Arms Without Borders

Four Israeli companies appear in a list of the top 100 arms dealers in the world, according to a report published yesterday by Amnesty International.

The companies are Israel Aircraft Industries, the Rafael Arms Development Authority, Elbit Systems (Nasdaq: ESLT) and Israel Military Industries.

The report, entitled "Arms without Borders," was launched as the United Nations opened its annual session on arms control, in the run-up to a landmark vote at the UN to start work on an Arms Trade Treaty.

It stresses that despite the lack of evidence that companies on the list violate international laws, the global arms' trade encourages countries to violate human rights. According to the report, two-thirds of weapons manufactured in Isral are designated for export.

Israel is one of six countries whose companies entered the controversial list because of increases in production, sales and exports of arms, the report noted. Other rising arms markets include Singapore, Brazil, India, South Africa and South Korea. The report also emphasizes that China is likely the largest arms producer and exporter but because it was impossible to obtain data, its companies do not appear on the list.

Amnesty produced the report in conjunction with British rights organization Oxfam and the International Action Network on Small Arms (IANSA).

According to the report, global military spending will reach an unprecedented $1,058.9 billion by the end of the year, a sum roughly 15 times the amount spent on global humanitarian aid. This sum will break the global military spending record of $1,034 billion set in 1987, during the Cold War.

The report states that in 2005, the united states, Russia, the United Kingdom, France and Germany together accounted for an estimated 82 percent of all arms transfers.