British arms sales to Israel reach record highs

The figures were revealed as Prince William gears up for visit to Jerusalem and Ramallah 

The UK government faces questions as to whether UK-made weapons were used by the Israelis last month
The UK government faces questions as to whether UK-made weapons were used by the Israelis last month

The UK has issued £221 million (€252 million) worth of arms licenses to companies exporting to Israel, figures revealed by the Campaign Against Arms Trade have shown.

This makes Israel the eight largest weapon market for UK arms companies, with the country buying more than £350 million worth of military equipment. 

Licenses issued to UK defence contractors included targeting equipment, small arms ammunition and sniper rifles. 

The proposed visit by Prince Wiliam to Israel has been criticised by human rights groups, after the UK showed concern to the use of lethal force. 

“After the appallingly excessive response of the Israeli security forces at the Gaza border, tensions in the occupied Palestinian territories are likely to be close to boiling point when Prince William makes this historic visit,” Amnesty International UK Campaign Director, Kerry Moscogiuri, said.

“The shootings we have seen over recent weeks have been an awful reminder of the appalling collective punishment and oppression that has been inflicted on the people of Gaza,” Campaign Against Arms Trade spokesperson Andrew Smith said. 

 

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