The government has increased oversight of defense export deals, granting the
National Security Council authority to rule on foreign defense sales in the
event of a disagreement between the Defense and Foreign ministries.
of the new mechanism comes a week after State Comptroller Micha Lindenstrauss
said in a report that Defense Ministry director-general Udi Shani failed to
abide by regulations when approving a number of defense export deals in recent
The mechanism was established several months ago after the
comptroller completed his investigation and the findings became known to the
government and the defense establishment.
Until then, a disagreement was
resolved in a three-stage process – it would first be brought to a meeting of
department heads from both ministries; if not resolved it would be brought to a
meeting of directors- general from both ministries; and if still not resolved
would be brought to a ministerial committee led by the prime
Under the new mechanism, disagreements are immediately brought
before the National Security Council which has the authority to rule on the case
and approve or deny the request for an export license.
erupt over differences regarding the effect the deal under question will have on
Israel’s diplomatic ties with various third-party countries who could
potentially be upset at Israel for selling arms to one of their
One example was Israel’s decision several years ago to stop
selling military systems to Georgia due to opposition from Russia.
comptroller’s investigation into Israeli defense exports was considered
sensitive and involved all relevant defense agencies involved in approving
foreign defense sales. Israel is considered a world leader in the defense market
and traditionally has exports ranging from $7 billion-$ 8b. on an annual
In 2011, 30,000 export licenses were requested by companies and 94
percent were approved.