UK government rules are supposed to prevent arms sales…
- where there is a clear risk of the equipment being used for “internal repression”;
- where the export would “provoke or prolong armed conflicts or aggravate existing tensions or conflicts”; and
- where there is a “clear risk that the intended recipient would use the proposed export aggressively against another country, or to assert by force a territorial claim.”
…and should take into account the buyer country’s “respect for international law”.
If the government’s own export guidelines were properly applied, the result would be a de facto embargo on arms exports to Israel.
At the same time, the UK imports Israeli military hardware and components and also provides training, in the UK, for Israeli military personnel.
Israeli military and industry sources openly attribute the success of Israeli exports to the weapons and technologies being ‘combat proven.’
Watchkeeper surveillance drone
has been developed under a £1 billion joint venture contract awarded by the Ministry of Defence to Thales UK and Israel’s Elbit Systems, allowing the UK military to benefit from technologies that have been ‘field tested’ on the occupied Palestinians.
This means that when the UK imports Israeli arms, it is helping Israel benefit from unlawful practices.
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