New government figures collated by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), show that the UK approved £7 million worth of military licences to Israel during the six months leading up to the recent bombing of Gaza. The licences, include components for Unmanned Aerial Vehicles (drones), combat aircrafts, targeting equipment and weapon sights.
According to official sources, 2,127 Gazans were killed (including 513 children) and 10,895 were wounded. The UN reported that 70% of the Palestinian casualties were civilians. On 5 August, OCHA stated that 520,000 Palestinians in the Gaza Strip been displaced, of whom 485,000 needed emergency food assistance and 273,000 were taking shelter in 90 UN-run schools. 17,200 Gazan homes were totally destroyed or severely damaged, and 37,650 homes suffered damage.
A former British Foreign Office minister has described the stance of the Cameron government during the Israeli land and air assault as “morally indefensible”.
Andrew Smith from CAAT, has said:
“Right up until the eve of the bombing the UK was supporting licences for the same kinds of weapons that Vince Cable’s own review found are likely to have been used against the people of Gaza.”
“Unfortunately it would not have been the first time UK weapons were used by Israel. The public was rightly shocked by this summer’s bombardment.
That is why the UK must announce an embargo on all arms sales to Israel and an end to military collaboration.