The US-made Israeli Air Force F-35 fighter jet maneuvers in the air. Photo/AP
TEL AVIV – The Israel-Hamas ceasefire and hostage exchange agreement were extended on Tuesday (28/11/2023).
This development raises the question of whether the US$14.3 billion in US aid requested by President Joe Biden will be relevant when the aid is passed by Congress. What portion of weapons does Israel get from its main allies? Who else is taking part?
Sputnik has explored the capabilities of Israel’s military-industrial complex in detail, pointing out the country’s status as a major regional power in terms of the development and production of advanced weapons, rivaled only by Iran.
Israel’s defense sector produces a wide range of weapons, from small arms and radio equipment, drones and remote-controlled weapons platforms, to main battle tanks, air and missile defense systems, and even nuclear-capable ballistic missiles.
Israel is also a major arms exporter, selling more than $12.5 billion worth of weapons to nearly a dozen foreign buyers last year, with top clients including India, Azerbaijan, the Philippines and the United States.
But unlike established defense giants such as Russia and the United States, Israel is unable to develop and produce its entire military arsenal independently.
For this reason, Tel Aviv relies on its highly symbiotic (and some might say opportunistic) relationship with Washington when it comes to arms imports.
With American defense contractors getting guaranteed contracts, Israel enjoys billions in virtually free weapons, and ordinary American taxpayers are left on the hook for the bill.
“Mr. President, for the people of Israel, there is only one thing better than having a true friend like you stand with Israel, and that is to have you stand with Israel,” Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said emotionally to Joe Biden during his trip to Israel in mid-October.