UK MPs urge review of Israel arms deals


UK MPs protest to the use of British parts in US F-16 warplanes purchased by Israel, and used against Palestinians in the Gaza war.
A group of British MPs are calling for a review of arms deals with Israel following media reports indicating the certain use of British weapons in the Israeli war against Gaza.

"It is regrettable that arms exports to Israel were almost certainly used in Operation Cast Lead," British daily news website The Guardian quoted a report published by the Commons committee on strategic export controls.

The report further described the issue "in direct contravention to the government's policy "that UK arms exports to Israel should not be used in the occupied territories."

According to the report, Britain's arms deals with Israel in 2008 stood at total value of more than £27.5 million ($41.5 million), and over £4 million ($6 million) worth of government exporting licenses, the paper reported.

The equipment in question reportedly included parts installed in F-16 combat aircraft and Apache helicopters the United States sold to Israel which Tel Aviv later used against Gazans.

Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband said London was investigating all existing licenses to see whether they needed reconsideration.

In April 2009, Miliband said that the UK would review all its weapons exports to Israel, in the wake of the Israeli army's deadly onslaught against the Gaza Strip which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians.

The three weeks of sea, land and air incursions also damaged a large part of the infrastructure in the impoverished territory, which has been under a paralyzing Israeli blockade since 2007.

The grizzly targeting of Palestinian civilians during the 22-day conflict raised international calls urging the trial of the Israeli perpetrators and the initiators of the war in Tel Aviv.

arms deals with Israel following media reports indicating the certain use of British weapons in the Israeli war against Gaza.

"It is regrettable that arms exports to Israel were almost certainly used in Operation Cast Lead," British daily news website The Guardian quoted a report published by the Commons committee on strategic export controls.

The report further described the issue "in direct contravention to the government's policy "that UK arms exports to Israel should not be used in the occupied territories."

According to the report, Britain's arms deals with Israel in 2008 stood at total value of more than £27.5 million ($41.5 million), and over £4 million ($6 million) worth of government exporting licenses, the paper reported.

The equipment in question reportedly included parts installed in F-16 combat aircraft and Apache helicopters the United States sold to Israel which Tel Aviv later used against Gazans.

Britain's Foreign Secretary David Miliband said London was investigating all existing licenses to see whether they needed reconsideration.

In April 2009, Miliband said that the UK would review all its weapons exports to Israel, in the wake of the Israeli army's deadly onslaught against the Gaza Strip which killed more than 1,400 Palestinians, mostly civilians.

The three weeks of sea, land and air incursions also damaged a large part of the infrastructure in the impoverished territory, which has been under a paralyzing Israeli blockade since 2007.

The grizzly targeting of Palestinian civilians during the 22-day conflict raised international calls urging the trial of the Israeli perpetrators and the initiators of the war in Tel Aviv.

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