UK arms ties with Israel show complicity

A recent report released by the UK illustrate just how widespread Israeli arms sales are, and how many British components are sold along with Israeli weapons. A detailed list of export control decisions can be seen on the Campaign Against the Arms Trade website .

Among the countries receiving Israeli arms exports (with British components) were Algeria, Pakistan, Morocco, United Arab Emirates, and Egypt.

The Israeli newspaper Haaretz stated there were hundreds of applications from Israeli companies to use British components in Israeli arms, (even while the UK was admonishing Israel over its continued illegal occupation of the Palestinian territories, and attacks on Gaza). Some of these arms were used by the Israeli military, others were exported. Exports of arms and components from Britain require permits under military end use control legislation.

Among the other clients were India, Singapore, Turkey, Vietnam, South Korea, Japan, Sweden, Portugal, the United States, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Colombia, Holland, Italy, Germany, Spain, Thailand, Macedonia, Belgium, Brazil, Chile, Switzerland, Ecuador, Mexico, Finland, Ireland, Luxembourg, Equatorial Guyana, Poland and Argentina. (These are all purchasers of Israeli weapons with UK components).

According to Haaretz in the past five years the UK rejected only 52 applications to use UK weapons or components on the basis that they could be used for repression in the Palestinian territories.

Clearly the UK is profitting handsomely from its arms sales to Israel which may explain its reluctance to take any serious action against the apartheid policies and human rights abuses of the Netanyahu government.

Haaretz states that more than half of Israeli drone exports in the past seven years were to Europe, with the largest purchase the Watchkeeper drone, ( the beleaguered history of which can be found elsewhere in this blog). So even while the UK was rejecting a few arms sales from Israel, it continued to approve hundreds of exports, as well as purchasing hundred of millions of pounds worth of drone technology from Israel.

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