U.K. to review arms exports to Israel in wake of Gaza war
Britain Foreign Secretary David Miliband said Tuesday that the U.K. would review all its weapons exports to Israel, in the wake of the Israel Defense Forces’ recent offensive on the Gaza Strip.
The move comes amid pressure from British lawmakers who had demanded that the government ensure U.K. weapon parts were not used against Palestinians.
Miliband told the British Parliament that all export licenses would be reviewed in light of the war in Gaza, which ended in mid-January.
He said that all future applications to export arms to Israel would also be assessed with the Gaza conflict in mind. Britain supplies less than 1 percent of Israel’s military imports, Miliband said.
Meanwhile, Defense Minister Ehud Barak has ordered his ministry to buy the Vulcan-Phalanx system from the U.S. for the protection of southern towns and strategic facilities.
The systems will provide early warning and interception of short-range Qassam rockets and mortar shells fired from the Gaza Strip.
“The Vulcan-Phalanx cannons and radar will be part of a multi-layer defense to intercept rockets,” Barak told Haaretz Monday. “Such defense, as far as I am concerned, is a strategic goal. The goal is to create a situation where as many rockets as possible launched at Israel are intercepted.”
Israel is in the midst of putting together a multi-layered system that will intercept and protect against rockets.