With the recent halt of a U.S. shipment of Hellfire missiles, and Spain and Britain announcing they were reconsidering their arms sales to Israel, are Israeli weapons supplies in danger? A probe by Haaretz shows that most of Israel’s arms imports are from the United States and a few other states. In recent years, however, Israel acquired hundreds of Russian-made shoulder-fired missiles. Defense experts warn that Washington held up the Hellfire shipment in order to send a warning to Jerusalem, which depends on U.S. weapons and munitions for its military operations.

Neither the Defense Ministry, which is in charge of military imports and exports, nor other state agencies regularly publish information on the topic. Most of the arms used by the Israel Defense Forces are manufactured locally or acquired with American aid funds. For the past several years U.S. aid to Israel has come to $3.1 billion a year. According to Defense Ministry projections, Israel’s use of U.S. aid for arms sales is expected to remain steady.

According to Defense Ministry figures, around one-quarter of the output of the Israeli defense industry is intended for IDF use. The rest is exported. […]