The Watchkeeper drones now being tested in Wales are the product of UK/Israeli cooperation on the military front. Money from the sale of drone technology supports the Israeli state, but moreover it pays for more research and development into new weapons that will be used to repress Palestinians and confront Israel’s enemies. Israel is becoming more dependent on arms sales and has a record of sales to unstable regimes and potential war zones.
£800 million of British taxpayers money is going into this programme, which directly supports the military establishment in Israel. There is a revolving door between the Israeli government, Israeli Defence Forces and the Israeli arms industry. Adding significant amounts of cash to this system simply supports this triumvirate, and submerses more peaceful tendencies in Israeli society.
With a powerful military machine, integrated with NATO, Israel has the power to impose harsh conditions on Palestinians in the occupied territories. The position of the UK’s Labour government is intensely hypocritical. Calls for Israel to respect Palestinian rights, and threats to stop UK arms exports to Israel, are greatly overshadowed by the £800 million spent on Israeli drone techology.