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Israel's booming secretive arms trade - using unarmed Palestinians as guinea pigs in military experiments

Jonathan Cook
Al Jazeera
Fri, 16 Aug 2013 22:07 CDT

New documentary argues success of country's weapons industry relies on exploiting Palestinians.

Israel's secretive arms trade is booming as never before, according to the latest export figures. But it is also coming under mounting scrutiny as some analysts argue that Israel has grown dependent on exploiting the suffering of Palestinians for military and economic gain.

A new documentary, called The Lab, has led the way in turning the spotlight on Israel's arms industry. It claims that four million Palestinians in the West Bank and Gaza have become little more than guinea pigs in military experiments designed to enrich a new elite of arms dealers and former generals.

The film's release this month in the United States follows news that Israeli sales of weapons and military systems hit a record high last year of $7.5bn, up from $5.8bn the previous year. A decade ago, Israeli exports were worth less than $2bn.

Israel is now ranked as one of the world's largest arms exporters - a considerable achievement for a country smaller than New York.

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