While the anti war movement and Palestinian solidarity movement have long decried sales of arms to Israel, it is purchases from the Israeli military industrial complex which funds Israeli weapons development and helps to make the Israeli military one of the most powerful in the world.
In this sense the Watchkeeper contract was a billion dollar cash infusion to the Israeli high tech weapons industry, and arguably more responsible for continued Israeli military dominance than an equivalent arms gift from the US.
Israel has been a hotbed of innovation in the arms sector, as it has been necessary to contrive new ways to maintain its occupation of the West Bank and Gaza and to defend itself from its myriad enemies.
This article,explains the role the military has played in Israel’s high tech boom. At the mercy of arms sales boycotts, Israel was often forced to design and build its own weapons, and this has often been financed by sales to a wide range of countries, including such unlikely places as Iran.