Britain reviews arms exports to Israel over Gaza conflict

2014-08-04 16:39

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London – Britain is reviewing all arms export licences to Israel in response to the escalating conflict with Hamas in Gaza.

Israel launched an offensive against Hamas almost four weeks ago.

Gaza officials say 1 797 Palestinians, most of them civilians, have been killed, while Israel says 64 of its soldiers and three civilians have died.

“We are currently reviewing all export licences to Israel to confirm that we think they are appropriate,” a spokesperson for Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters today. The decision to conduct the review was made last week, she said.

According to a report by a British parliamentary committee last month, outstanding government-approved contracts for export of dual use or military goods to Israel are worth more than £7.8 billion (about R140 billion).

These include contracts to supply body armour, drone components and missile parts.

“Clearly the current situation has changed compared to when some licences will were granted, and we’re reviewing those existing licences against the current situation but no decisions have been taken beyond going back again and reviewing,” the spokesperson said.

Britain’s opposition Labour Party has accused Cameron of not condemning Israel’s behaviour forcefully enough, a charge he rejects.

Meanwhile, a Palestinian killed an Israeli and overturned a bus with a construction vehicle today and a gunman wounded a soldier in attacks in Jerusalem that appeared to be a backlash against Israel's Gaza war.

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