A third batch of American paintball rifles has been approved by Israel, paving the way for an American production facility to begin operating in Israel, Israel’s Defense Ministry said on Friday.
The ministry said the approval, signed on Tuesday, gives the government of Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu permission to buy up to 200,000 rifles.
In a statement, the ministry said it was the first time a single country had approved a batch of Israeli paintball weapons.
The new rifles will be delivered to the Israeli Military Industries Agency in 2018 and be used by IDF forces, the statement said.
It did not say whether they would be exported to the United States or other countries.
Last month, Israel banned American paintballs and paintball ammunition because of safety concerns.
The U.S. Congress last year passed a law requiring a 10-year ban on the sale of paintballs.
The Pentagon said it would provide $100 million to support the development of paint ball and paint ammunition, along with $150 million for the purchase of other equipment.
The bill also called for an assessment of the potential for the sale and production of paint balls and paint ammo to be transferred to the Israel Defense Forces and the Department of State.
Israel began production of its own paintball weaponry in 1996 and exported the first 100,000 units.
Israel has since expanded the program to include an array of other firearms, including air rifles, machine guns and grenade launchers.
The Associated Press