Photo Credit: Courtesy Elbit
Elbit maritime Unmanned Aircraft System

Private Israeli defense contractor Elbit has completed its purchase of state-owned arms manufacturer Israel Military Industries (IMI), it was announced Sunday.

The deal is worth approximately NIS 1.8 billion ($495 million), government officials said.


Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, who now also holds the defense portfolio, praised the transaction, which privatized IMI and which allows for transfer of the company to southern Israel.

“The sale of IMI to Elbit will facilitate the advancement of the Israeli defense industry, will leverage Israel’s technological abilities, and will increase defense exports,” Netanyahu pointed out. “All of these will directly contribute to the Israeli economy.

“Additionally, the sale will allow for the clearing of land in high demand areas that will serve for the construction of housing units and will also transfer hundreds of workers to the Negev and the Galilee,” he added.

Much of the Israel Air Force infrastructure was moved to the Negev in recent years in order to free up land in crowded central Israel, where real estate is at a premium.


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Hana Levi Julian is a Middle East news analyst with a degree in Mass Communication and Journalism from Southern Connecticut State University. A past columnist with The Jewish Press and senior editor at Arutz 7, Ms. Julian has written for, and other media outlets, in addition to her years working in broadcast journalism.