Government must embargo all arms sales to Israel, say campaigners

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Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) has condemned the UK government's response to its own review of licensed exports to Israel.

The review, overseen by Vince Cable and the Department of Business Innovation and Skills (BIS), has identified 12 licences for components that could be part of equipment used by the Israel Defence Forces in Gaza. However, BIS has decided that it will not even suspend these licences unless "significant hostilities" resume.

Andrew Smith, a spokesperson for CAAT, said: "We always hear about the strength of the UK's arms control policy, but this underlines how poor it actually is. Even by Vince Cable's own admission UK weapons may have been used in Gaza. The UK's failure to even suspend these licences unless the violence resumes is simply not good enough. It is a very weak position and it will be seen as a sign of political support for the Israeli government and military."

Since 2010 the UK government has licensed £42 million worth of military licences to Israel, including targeting systems and drone components.

Andrew Smith continued: "The public is rightfully shocked by the bombardment that has been taking place and the UK needs to take responsibility by revoking all current licences. It should announce a full embargo on all arms sales to Israel as well as an end to all military-industrial collaboration with Israel."

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