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India Was Israel's Top Arms Client in 2017: Report

Israel’s top three customers, all from the region, include India, Vietnam, and Azerbaijan.

While India may have abstained from attending any official events marking the recent U.S. move of shifting its embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem legitimizing Israel's occupation, it bought the most arms from Israel in 2017, a recent report has revealed.

There has been a surge in sales to the Asia-Pacific region, with 58 percent, the Asia-Pacific region marks the largest distribution of sales from Israel. Israel’s top three customers, all from the region, include India, Vietnam, and Azerbaijan.

India leads with US$715 million worth of purchase, Vietnam follows a close second with at US$142 million and Azerbaijan at US$137 million follows next.

According to the Jerusalem Post, Israel’s military exports rose by 41 percent in 2017, the third consecutive year of increased defense exports, which brought in nearly US$9.2 billion in contracts.

Last month, India rescinded a ban it had imposed on two Israeli arms companies, Aerospace Industries and the Rafael Advanced Defence Systems Ltd, which it remained blacklisted since 2006 due to allegations of bribery.

India's Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) filed a lawsuit demanding the closure of the criminal investigation against the two companies, which led to US$2 billion deal between India and Israel's Aerospace Industries. The lawsuit closure led to an agreement between the two nations under which the Israeli company would supply India with Barak 8 surface-to-air missiles.

Tel Aviv recently came under scrutiny for selling arms to Myanmar as the South Asian country despite international condemnation of the country’s crackdown on its Rohingya Muslim minority.

The weapons reportedly sold to Myanmar include over 100 tanks, weapons, and boats that have been used to police the country’s border and perpetrate numerous acts of violence against the Rohingya, the Middle East Monitor reported.

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