UK Lays Partial Arms Embargo on Israel over Gaza OffensiveWorld | July 13, 2009, Monday // 16:11| views
An Israeli official said that Britain had reviewed 182 licenses before deciding to revoke the five in connection with the Saar 4,5 class corvette. Photo by BGNES
The UK decided to lay a partial arms embargo on Israel in response to its Gaza offensive, becoming the first country to sanction Israel.
Brutain rescinds five export licenses for parts used on warships which were deployed in the conflict, TimesOnline reported.
An Israeli official said that Britain had reviewed 182 licenses before deciding to revoke the five in connection with the Saar 4,5 class corvette. The British Embassy in Tel Aviv confirmed the move but said that it did not constitute an embargo on Israel.
"There are no security agreements between the UK and Israel. UK policy remains to assess all export licenses to Israel against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria", an embassy spokesman said.
After the 23-day offensive six months ago, a number of MPs called on Gordon Brown to impose a complete arms embargo on Israel. A petition of more than 38 000 signatures calling for a ban was also posted on the Prime Minister's website.
In a review published earlier in 2009, Amnesty International highlighted Britain's role in supplying engines for the Hermes 450 drones, an aircraft widely used by the Israeli military in Gaza. A report by Human Rights Watch last week said that the weapons had killed dozens of civilians.
According to government figures, Britain has more than doubled its sale of weapons to Israel in recent years. In 2007, Britain sold GBP 6 M of arms to Israel, while in 2008 it licensed GBP 20 M in the first quarter alone.
More than 1 400 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the Gaza offensive.
We need your support so Novinite.com can keep delivering news and information about Bulgaria! Thank you!