Whereas Israel maintains its military offensive on Gaza, the "positive" diplomacy of the EU towards Israel is paralleled with defence transfers towards this country which has an extensive track record of violations of international law as well as a long history of staging military attacks on its neighbours. Although a small country of less than 7 million inhabitants, Israel is nevertheless the 6th world largest recipient of conventional weapons between 2003 and 2007, and, in 2006, the 5th largest supplier. Tel-Aviv also dedicated 8,5% of its GNP to its national military expenditures in 2006, while the 2007 budgets present a 10% increase due to the impact of the Israeli-Lebanese war of July-August 2006. If it is true that on all the conventional arms exports flooding towards Israel each year, the EU Member States, among which Belgium, represent a very secondary source of supply in comparison with the United States, Israel, which makes the excessive use of force the basis of its strategy for regulating disputes, may represent a lucky destination for the defence industry. But to export military articles there indubitably poses intricate ethical and juridical problems, which enter in contradiction with the European Code of Conduct on arms exports.
Key words : arms exports, conventional weapons, European Union, Belgium, Code of Conduct, Israel, Middle-East