Some French and British defense firms have withdrawn from this week’s International Defense and Security Expo in Tel Aviv as they failed to get export approval due to the limitations on certain weapon exports to Israel put in place after the 2014 Gaza war, Haaretz reported Wednesday.
The equipment that failed to get export approval includes sharpshooting weaponry, drone aircraft, ammunition including purportedly non-lethal ammunition such as sponge-coated bullets, and other special ammunition for guns and rifles.
“This is no boycott of Israel, but there are a lot of Western countries that over the years are preventing the export of offensive equipment to Israel. The situation affects companies from France, Germany, Norway, Sweden, Switzerland and Austria,” The Marker news report quoted an unnamed source associated with ISDEF as saying.
After some equipment from Western suppliers was put off limits to Israel during last summer’s war with Hamas and its allies in the Gaza Strip, Israel decided to rely more on Israeli-produced technology, the source said.
As a result of these import limitations, Israeli army and police forces rely on American and Israeli suppliers for these particular items, the source explained. On the other hand, foreign military suppliers offering other types of equipment are in fact participating in the Tel Aviv defense expo, the source said.
After the Israel Defense Forces encountered difficulties obtaining additional stocks of ammunition from some Western suppliers, Israel decided to rely on Israeli-produced technology, the source said, adding that smaller Israeli producers were given special product development projects to avoid reliance on imported military equipment.