Israel: Weapons

Foreign and Commonwealth Office written question – answered on 3rd July 2015.

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Photo of Carolyn Harris Carolyn Harris Labour, Swansea East

To ask the Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs, what assessment he has made of whether UK-supplied weaponry and components were used by Israel in its campaign against Gaza in 2014.

Photo of Tobias Ellwood Tobias Ellwood The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Foreign and Commonwealth Affairs

The Government takes seriously any reports that UK supplied components may have been used by Israeli forces during Operation Protective Edge (OPE). At the time of OPE, the Government reviewed all extant export licences to Israel. It found that the vast majority of exports licensed for Israel were not for items that could be used by Israeli forces in operations in Gaza in response to attacks by Hamas.

On 12 August 2014, the Government announced that twelve licences had been identified for components which could have been part of equipment used by the Israel Defence Forces in Gaza. In the event that significant hostilities had resumed, the Government was concerned that it would not have been able to clarify if the export licence criteria were being met. It would therefore have suspended those licences as a precautionary step.

We monitored the situation closely and assessed that the resumption of hostilities when Hamas later broke the ceasefire was not significant enough to warrant a suspension.

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