No new defence contracts for Israel military use – Conroy


Australia has not approved any new defence exports for use Israel since ‘high intensity conflict’ began in Gaza, according to the Minister for Defence Industry Pat Conroy.

On ABC Radio National Conroy was asked about Greens claims that Australia had entered into a contract with Israel’s Elbit Systems worth $917 million.

He said that the contract in question was with Korean company Hanwha which had sub-contracted Elbit to build turrets for Australian Defence Force armoured vehicles.

“Even if it flows through the supply chain to Elbit from Hanwha, that is money to build army vehicles for the Australian Army in Australia.

“The Greens are saying that this is supplying arms to Israel, which is incorrect and continues to be incorrect.”

However Conroy did reveal that Australia was not entering any new contracts allowing the export of equipment for use by Israel.

Conroy said: “Well, what I can say to you is since the conflict has begun, we’ve been only approving export permits to Israel for equipment that is returning to Australia for the ADF – that is really, really important.”

​Patricia Karvelas: “Can I just clarify, does that mean you’ve actively said no to contracts that go beyond that?”

Conroy: “What we’ve been saying is that due to the high intensity nature of this conflict and the complex circumstances we’ve been applying the existing export control system, and since the conflict began, no permits have been approved except for items that have been returned to Australia.

“…That’s an active decision of the war, applying the existing export control system so…the government has only been approving new permits to Israel for equipment for the Australian Defence Force and law enforcement that will be returned to Australia.”

Conroy said the Minister for Defence Richard Marles had responsibility for applying the criteria under Australia’s Defence Export Control system.

He said the government did have some small contracts with Elbit for delivery of capability for the Australian Defence Force.

“Two examples are $9 million to maintain and repair thermal imaging equipment and another contract for some drones for the Australian Army.”

Picture: Pat Conroy

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