Middle East

Britain reviewing arms exports to Israel in light of conflict

File - Demonstrators carry Palestinian flags as they protest outside the Houses of Parliament in central London July 26, 2014. REUTERS/Luke MacGregor

LONDON: Britain is reviewing licenses to sell arms and military goods to Israel in the light of its operations in Gaza, Prime Minister David Cameron’s office said Monday.

Britain’s government has approved licenses for the sale of military goods to Israel worth at least £42 million ($71 million) since 2010, according to government figures obtained by the Campaign Against Arms Trade.

These are mostly to supply weapons control and targeting systems and components for ammunition, drones and armored vehicles.

“We are currently reviewing all export licenses to Israel to confirm that we think they are appropriate,” said a government spokeswoman.

“Clearly the current situation has changed compared to when some licenses will have been granted, and we’re reviewing those existing licenses against the current situation, but no decisions have been taken beyond going back again and reviewing,” the spokeswoman said.

The decision to review the contracts was taken last week, she added.

CAAT spokesman Andrew Smith welcomed the review but called for an immediate embargo on the selling of military equipment to Israel, insisting the government “should never have agreed the licenses in the first place.”

“It not only facilitates, but signals approval to the actions of the Israeli government,” he added.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Daily Star on August 05, 2014, on page 9.




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