The UK Government has lifted all remaining limits on arms sales to Israel after a year-long review of 12 export licenses for weaponry.
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has said that it is now satisfied that the licenses meet the UK’s export criteria, which ban any sale of arms where there is a “clear risk” that they may be used for “internal repression or the abuse of human rights.”
Last summer, during Israel’s Operation Protective Edge, an offensive designed to halt the onslaught of Hamas rocket attacks on Israeli cities, the British government decided to review £8 billion of controlled export licenses granted to Israel - military and commercial - to see whether each license is appropriate in light of the Gaza conflict.
According to the Guardian, anti-war campaigners were most concerned about £42 million of arms export licenses awarded to 130 British firms, “including two supplying components for the Hermes drone and one selling components for Israel’s main battle tank.”
In a statement released Wednesday, Business Secretary Sajid Javid’s department said:
“Following the review the government has concluded that in the present context where the facts are clearer these criteria may now be applied, without any additional measures.”
Acknowledging the fluidity of the situation in Gaza and in various war zones across the globe, the statement added:
“The government continues to monitor conflict and tension around the world. It retains the power to suspend export licensing where the security conditions in the export destination deteriorate to the extent that is impossible or extremely difficult to apply standard export licensing procedures.”
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