As Israel increases its attacks on the people of Gaza by launching a ground invasion in addition to air and sea bombardments, local MP Katy Clark has questioned the Tory-Lib Dem Government on military links between the United Kingdom and Israel.
According to a 2013
report by the Westminster Committee on Arms Export Controls, there were
over 380 Standard Individual Export Licenses and Open Individual Export
Licenses granted to UK companies in relation to supplying military
hardware and components to Israel. The value of the contracts was put
Included amongst equipment supplied to the
Israeli government by UK companies were components for drones and
military combat vehicles, and technology for small-arms ammunition.
2009 the UK Foreign Secretary confirmed that components manufactured in
Britain were almost certainly used by the Israelis during a previous
invasion and bombardment of Gaza.
Katy Clark last week asked the
Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills if he will
suspend all standard individual export licences and open individual
export licences to Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories until
at least such time as a ceasefire in the present conflict has been
established. The Labour MP for North Ayrshire & Arran also asked
the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs if he will
investigate whether any UK-manufactured weapons or components have been
used by Israeli military forces during the current offensive, which the
Tel Aviv Government calls Operation Protective Edge.
Ms Clark has questioned UK Ministers on whether or not they believe
Israel has complied with international legal obligations during the
recent military action, and has asked what steps the UK Government will
take to assist Palestinians who have been made homeless.
Clark said, “Like many, I have been appalled to hear the reports of
civilian deaths in Israel and the occupied territories. The footage of
four Palestinian children killed by an Israeli missile while playing on a
beach was particularly disturbing.
“I believe the [UK]
Government now needs to review its military relations with Israel as a
matter of urgency. It cannot be right that British-manufactured weapons
and components can continue to be exported to Israel at a time when
increasing numbers of civilians, including children and disabled people,
are dying as a result of Israeli air and naval strikes.
are going to have a lasting peace in the region we need to bring about
an end to these outbreaks of violence. The UK, rightly, does not sell
weapons to Hamas but it now needs to take an even-handed approach and
end its military ties with Israel until a fair and lasting peace is