U.K. Lifts Export Bans on Arms to Israel

The United Kingdom has lifted all remaining restrictions on arms sales to Israel, according to The Independent. Over the past year, the U.K. government conducted a review of export licenses in light of Operation Protective Edge in Gaza

The United Kingdom has lifted all remaining restrictions on arms sales to Israel, according to The Independent. Over the past year, the U.K. government conducted a review of 12 export licenses for weapons that may have been used in last year’s Operation Protective Edge.

Had U.K. arms been used by the IDF in this operation, it would violate the U.K.’s export criteria, which prohibit arms sales where there is a “clear risk” that the weapons may be used in a manner that violates human rights.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) said it had determined that the licenses for material, including components for military radar and tanks, do meet the U.K.’s export criteria. In the statement, the Department said it would now apply its normal “criteria” to all exports to Israel and would lift its previous threat that licenses would be suspended if hostilities broke out again between Israel and the Gaza Strip or the West Bank.

Critics are standing firmly against the results of the investigation, saying that the review took too long and questioning whether the investigation thoroughly examined the extent of the use of U.K. arms in the most recent and previous conflicts.

“This is an exceptionally weak and tokenistic review,” said one campaigner. “Successive governments have said it is likely that U.K. arms were used against the people of Gaza in 2009 and 2014.”

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