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U.K. lawmakers call to review arms export to Israel (Haaretz: 30.3.2010)

By Haaretz Service

A group of British lawmakers are expected to call Tuesday for the reevaluation of arms deals with Israel after a recently published report claimed that British weapons were “almost certainly” used in Operation Cast Lead in December 2008, The Guardian reported.

“It is regrettable that arms exports to Israel were almost certainly used in Operation Cast Lead,” British daily news website The Guardian quoted a report published by the Commons committee on strategic export controls.

“This is in direct contravention to the U.K. government’s policy that U.K. arms exports to Israel should not be used in the occupied territories,” the report said.

According to the report, U.K. arms deals with Israel in 2008 totaled at over £27.5 million, and over £4 million worth of government exporting licenses, the Guardian reported.

The equipment sold by the U.K. to Israel apparently included components in cockpit displays in United States F-16 combat aircrafts and other parts installed in the U.S. Apache helicopters purchased by Israel and used during the Gaza offensive, the report concluded.

In April 2009 Britain’s Foreign Secretary David Miliband said 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.

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