Israel Signs UN’s Arms Trade Treaty for 2-Year Trial Period

Israel signed the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), agreeing not to sell weapons to criminal groups or recognized terrorists.

By Yaakov Levi


Israel in recent days signed the UN’s Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), in which the country commits not to sell weapons to terrorists and criminal groups. Israel has taken on provisional membership in the treaty, and will review the matter after a 24 month test membership period. The treaty became effective on December 24, and has been signed by 130 states.

Terrorist shooting gun

Terrorist shooting AK-47 assault rifle – Photo: Thinkstock

Among the countries that have so far refused to sign the resolution are Iran, Syria, North Korea, and Venezuela.

Treaty members, the UN resolution establishing it said, are obligated to monitor arms exports and ensure that weapons don’t cross existing arms embargoes or end up being used for human-rights abuses, including terrorism.

Member states, with the assistance of the U.N., will put into place enforceable, standardized arms import and export regulations (much like those that already exist in the U.S.) and be expected to track the destination of exports to ensure they don’t end up in the wrong hands. Ideally, that means limiting the inflow of deadly weapons into places like Syria,” the resolution says.

In a statement, the Foreign Ministry said that it doesn’t believe that Israel’s arms sales will be impacted by Israel’s joining the treaty.

“Israel has for several years instituted its own supervisory system to ensure that arms exports are conducted properly,” it said. “The 2007 Law on Arms Exports sets very high standards for exporting arms. As a result, we do not expect the ratification of the resolution to have a major effect on Israeli arms exports.”


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