- UK has licensed £400 million worth of arms to Israel since 2015
- UK arms implicated in previous atrocities against Palestine
- 24 Palestinians reportedly killed by air strikes following violence at Al-Aqsa Mosque
Campaign Against Arms Trade has called on the UK government to condemn the abuses inflicted by Israeli forces over recent days, including air strikes last night that are reported to have killed 24 people in Gaza, including nine children. The air strikes follow several days of attacks by Israeli police and settlers on Palestinians in Jerusalem, injuring over 300 people, including the storming of the Al Aqsa Mosque.
Since the Conservative government was elected in May 2015 the UK has licensed over £400 million worth of arms to Israeli forces, including:
- £183 million worth of ML22 licences (military technology)
- £104 million worth of ML10 licences (Aircraft, helicopters, drones)
- £20 million worth of ML4 licences (Grenades, bombs, missiles, countermeasures)
- £4.6 million worth of ML6 licences (Armoured vehicles, tanks)
- £1.9 million worth of ML3 licences (ammunition)
- £1 million worth of ML1 licences (small arms)
The actual level of exports will be significantly higher, as there have also been 43 Open Licences in this period. These are mainly for aircraft equipment. Open Licences allow for an unlimited quantity and value of exports. The UK also produces 15% of the value of each F-35 stealth combat aircraft produced, of which 27 have been delivered to Israel so far.
A review by the government at the time found 12 licences for arms which are likely to have been used in the 2014 bombardment of Gaza. Likewise, in 2010 the then Foreign Secretary David Miliband said that UK-made arms had “almost certainly” been used in the 2009 bombing campaign.
Dana Aboul-Jabine of Campaign Against Arms Trade said:
“These terrible air strikes have further added to the many years of injustice and bloodshed. They must be met with condemnation, and action from the international community, particularly when following the increased tensions we have seen and the storming of such an important holy site.
Regardless of how many atrocities have been inflicted, Downing Street has continued to arm and support Israeli forces. UK-made arms have been used against Palestinians before, and it is likely that they will be again. These arms sales do not just provide military support, they also send a clear sign of political support for the daily abuse that is central to the occupation.
Time and again, successive UK governments have put arms sales ahead of the rights and lives of Palestinians. That long and shameful policy must stop.”