Israel has canceled a planned deal worth tens of millions of dollars to export hundreds of decommissioned Merkava battle tanks to European and other foreign nations.
The Merkava tanks were gradually replaced over the past 20 years by more advanced armored vehicles, including the new “Barak” and “Eitan” tanks whose development was recently completed and have since been deployed.
The tanks that were set for export have instead been deployed in an armored battalion of IDF reserve soldiers.
The decision, made by Defense Ministry Director-General Major-General Eyal Zamir prior to the start of the ‘Iron Swords War’, arrested the historic deal for Israel’s first export of its military tanks, according to security sources quoted by the Calcalist.
Instead, the tanks and other armored vehicles were refurbished after the start of the war between Russia and Ukraine. They have since undergone further maintenance following the invasion of Israel and massacre of some 1,200 citizens and other nationals by Gaza’s Hamas terrorists and their civilian followers.
IDF tanks have played a crucial role in Israel’s ground operations in Gaza, working together with infantry brigades and the Israel Air Force to eliminate terrorist cells and positions.
Israeli tanks are playing an equally important role in attacking the sources of rocket fire from Lebanon, most of them launched by Iranian-backed Hezbollah as it continues to escalate the conflict on Israel’s northern border.