Rise in Israeli security exports

Oct. 10, 2011 at 7:55 AM
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TEL AVIV, Israel, Oct. 10 (UPI) -- Israel's security exports have steadily grown since the Sept. 11, 2001, terror attacks as countries began using Israeli-developed security systems.

SIBAT, the Defense Ministry's defense export and defense cooperation branch, said the value of exports rose from about $2 billion a year to $7 billion.

"The United States woke up to a new reality and today one can see Israeli security companies working worldwide checking passengers and luggage at airports, because we have already been there and we have the knowledge," said Itamar Graff, deputy director of SIBAT.

Another reason cited for the increase was fighting conducted by the United States and other NATO countries in Iraq and Afghanistan.

"When the world became aware of the matter of fighting terrorism, we already had decades of experience on the matter, with many existing technologies," Graff said.

"We are in a small area and constantly cope with terrorist threats that arrive via foot, in tunnels, at day and night, by land and through the air, so we knew to offer the world existing products that have already been tested in operations in Lebanon, Judea and Samaria and the Gaza Strip."

In addition to military products, Israeli companies have developed systems -- using radar and lasers -- to defend civilian aircraft from missiles, SIBAT said.

Although a decade has passed since the Sept. 11th attacks, SIBAT officials said they don't think that the level of Israel's defense exports will drop any time soon.

"Business is continuing and growing because the threats aren't getting smaller," Graff said. "The world is moving in the direction of dealing with terrorist threats.

"On issues such as home-front protection, shore security and missile defense, people from around the world come to learn from us. We are dealing with a variety of possible threats and we will continue to be a dominant and significant factor in the world."

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