NSC can resolve DM, FM defense sale disputes (JERUSALEM POST) By YAAKOV KATZ 05/11/12)
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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
News of the new mechanism comes a week after State Comptroller Micha
Lindenstrauss claimed in a report that Defense Ministry Dir.-Gen. Udi
Shani failed to abide by regulations when approving a number of
defense export deals in recent years.
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
director generals from both ministries and if still not resolved
would be brought to a ministerial committee led by the prime minister.
Under the new mechanism, disagreements are immediately brought before
the National Security Council which has the authority to rule on the
case and decide if to approve the request for an export license.
Most disagreements 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 adversaries.
One example was Israel’s decision several years ago to stop selling
military systems to Georgia due to opposition from Russia.
The 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 between $7-8 billion on an annual basis.
In 2011, 30,000 export licenses were requested by companies and 94
percent were approved. (© 1995-2011, The Jerusalem Post 05/11/12)
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