Myanmar Shows Off Its Israeli Weapons


Ali Abunimah | The Electronic Intifada – TRANSCEND Media Service

An Israeli-made Super Dvora Mk III gunboat recently acquired by the Myanmar navy. (Myanmar Navy)

23 Oct 2017 – Myanmar has been showing off its new gunboats, confirming that Israel is supplying the country with weapons in spite of official secrecy around the matter.

The Tel Aviv newspaper Haaretz highlighted photos posted on Facebook by Myanmar’s navy of its Israeli-made Super Dvora Mk III gunboats.

“Welcome to Myanmar Navy,” the post states.

“The post is from April, only half a year ago, when the Myanmar (Burmese) army was already being accused of war crimes,” Haaretz notes.

Last month, Israel’s high court granted a government request to keep a blanket of secrecy over Israeli military sales to Myanmar.

The court issued a secret ruling on a petition by human rights lawyer Eitay Mack demanding a halt to such sales.

Both Amnesty International and Human Rights Watch say that the military in Myanmar, also known as Burma, is committing crimes against humanity.

“The military has committed forced deportation, murder, rape and persecution against Rohingya Muslims in northern Rakhine State, resulting in countless deaths and mass displacement,” Human Rights Watch said.

Ethnic cleansing

Last week, top UN officials estimated that 500,000 Rohingya refugees had crossed into neighboring Bangladesh in less than five weeks, many “fleeing discrimination, violence and persecution, as well as isolation and fear.”

The UN’s top human rights official has called the Myanmar military’s campaign a “textbook example of ethnic cleansing.”

According to Haaretz, the pictures of the boats on Facebook “also reveal the weapons that have been installed on them, all blue-and-white products.”

These include a remote weapons station for firing heavy machine guns, made by Elbit Systems, Israel’s biggest arms maker.

“The new patrol boats are only part of a larger transaction signed between Israel and Myanmar,” according to the newspaper.

In 2015, Min Aung Hlaing, a senior general from Myanmar, posted pictures on Facebook showing him and other officials on a shopping spree at various Israeli weapons companies.

“We don’t connect the two things”

In an interview with The Myanmar Times earlier this month, Israeli ambassador Daniel Zonshine said Israel was determined not to let the mass expulsions of the Rohingya interfere with growing bilateral trade.

The ambassador said he would continue to “differentiate the economic relations and the situation in Rakhine. At the moment, we don’t connect the two things.”

According to The Myanmar Times, Israeli exports to Myanmar reached $34 million in the first half of this year, already outpacing the $23 million for all of 2016.

This trade is reportedly concentrated in telecoms and electronics, as well as irrigation and medical devices.

But these figures presumably exclude the arms sales which Israel keeps secret. Haaretz estimates that the military trade alone is worth tens of millions of dollars.

Zonshine offered Myanmar some advice – undoubtedly based on Israel’s own propaganda tactics – on how to whitewash its bloodsoaked image.

“When the story in the international media is framed as it is today, it doesn’t help to create more markets. It doesn’t help promote the [country’s] image,” Zonshine said. “It is something that should receive some attention from the government in order to show that although there are problems, Myanmar is still Myanmar. In other words, not to let the conflict define who or what Myanmar is.”


Ali Abunimah – Co-founder of The Electronic Intifada and author of The Battle for Justice in Palestine, now out from Haymarket Books, and of One Country: A Bold-Proposal to End the Israeli-Palestinian Impasse.


Go to Original –


Join the BDS-BOYCOTT, DIVESTMENT, SANCTIONS campaign to protest the Israeli barbaric siege of Gaza, illegal occupation of the Palestine nation’s territory, the apartheid wall, its inhuman and degrading treatment of the Palestinian people, and the more than 7,000 Palestinian men, women, elderly and children arbitrarily locked up in Israeli prisons.

DON’T BUY PRODUCTS WHOSE BARCODE STARTS WITH 729, which indicates that it is produced in Israel. DO YOUR PART! MAKE A DIFFERENCE!


Share this article:

DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.

Comments are closed.