Israel has passed Britain to become the world's fourth largest exporter of weapons, Defense Ministry Director-General Pinchas Bucharis said on Sunday.Israel exported a total $4 billion in defense exports in 2007, Bucharis said. The United States, Russia and France lead the world's list of exporters.The Defense Ministry held a special session on Sunday to present to arms dealers and security export companies details of a new law set to go into effect at the end of the month regarding the supervision of defense exports.
The new supervision law takes into account considerations of national security, foreign policies and international agreements, Bucharis emphasized during the session.Defense exports supervisor Eli Pinko called the law revolutionary, adding that it would turn Israel's defense establishment from a recipient of services to world provider and regulator.Defense Ministry legal adviser Ahaz Ben-Ari said an important issue covered in the new law is Israel's ability to supervise international mediation of defense equipment acquisitions and sales between Israelis and foreign sources abroad."Israel will not serve as a refuge for people dealing with security exports that the defense establishment has decided to embargo," Ben-Ari said. He added that violators of the supervision law would now be subject to severe penalties and fines.
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