The Israel Defense Forces (IDF) have placed an order for 20,000 Israeli-made M4A1 rifles as part of the army’s efforts to increase domestic production and reduce its reliance on foreign countries, reports Channel 12 News.

According to the Defense Ministry’s request for proposals, Israel must assemble the firearms, which are similar to M16 assault rifles, completely using at least 51 percent locally sourced components.

Another requirement is that non-Israeli-produced parts “not require an export license,” a challenge presented by Canada’s decision to suspend arms exports to Israel on March 18.  The Canadian parliament justified its decision by citing “human rights violations” in Gaza, prompting a protest from Israeli leaders.

“It’s regrettable that the Canadian government is taking a step that undermines Israel’s right to self-defense against Hamas terrorists,” Foreign Minister Israel Katz said of the decision.

Aside from Canada, there have been mounting calls among Democrats in the United States, Israel’s largest defense exporter, to cease arms shipments to the Jewish state. Since the start of the Hamas-Israel war on Oct. 7, Israel has requested that the US provide more than 10,000 tons of ammunition for tanks, missile defense, artillery rounds, bombs for the air force, and handheld weapons for civilians.

To reduce its reliance on foreign military aid, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu stated in January that Israel is “preparing the defense industries to disconnect from dependency on the rest of the world,” with a “multi-year plan to free Israel from external purchases.” We’ll need to equip domestically, with local manufacturing capacity.”

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