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Israel loses out on Irish bullets contract

ISRAEL has lost out on multimillion euro contracts to supply more then 20 million bullets to the Defence Forces in a year in which Mossad agents used fake Irish passports as cover in the murder of a Hamas leader.

The lucrative series of deals, in one case worth up to €3m for the supply of 10 million bullets in a single tender, instead went to Belgium and other countries.

In the past five years Ireland has spent €14m on Israeli arms. The Government has continually insisted the Middle Eastern country is free to submit bids for any tender and that no boycott is in place against Israel.

But this year has been a fractious one in Irish-Israeli relations. The Israeli government-owned company Israel Military Industries was expected to be in the front rank of competitors for Irish Army tenders, but instead contracts went to FN Herstal of Belgium and CBC of Brazil.

Reports by the Sunday Independent on the amount Ireland is spending on Israeli arms led to questions in the Dail. The Department of Defence said yesterday that there were 13 tenders received for the order for 10 million bullets, but said they did not disclose details of tenderers.

Defence Minister Tony Killeen has said the Government has consistently been opposed to a boycott of Israel.

Sunday Independent