British-made weapons could have been used by the Israeli military to suppress ongoing Palestinian protests along the Gaza border, a UK NGO revealed.
A report by The Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) showed that the scale of arms sales to Israel in recent years has been alarming that it stands to reason to say Israel could be using British sniper rifles and components to kill Palestinian protesters in Gaza.
Britain sold Israel arms worth $445m since the 2014 Gaza war, which included components for drones, combat aircraft and helicopters along with spare parts for sniper rifles. In 2017 arms export licences to Israel soared to Pound 216m from Pound 20m in the wake of the war, according to figures from UK Department for International Trade.
Andrew Smith, a spokesman for CAAT, said:
Palestinian health statics confirmed at least 40 people have been shot dead by Israeli forces since the start of the Great March of Return demonstrations in late March, which is aimed to last for six weeks ending on the 70th anniversary of Nakba.
The violence prompted Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn to call for a review of arms sales to Israel in a message condemning its illegal and inhumane killing and wounding of yet more unarmed Palestinian protesters.
The rising UK arms exports to Israel also alarmed Labour MP Richard Burden, the chairman of the British-Palestine group in the UK parliament, given the risk of the weapons being used for internal repression in Gaza.
Burden will press ministers to investigate the possibility of UK arms having been used by the Israeli forces in shooting at people participating in the Gaza border’s Great March of Return movement.
Labour leader Jeremy Corbyn called for the UK government to support calls for an independent and transparent UN inquiry into the Israeli shootings and to review the sale of UK-made arms that could be used in violation of international law.
However, MP Emily Thornberry, the shadow foreign secretary of the Labour party, arguedthat Israel has a right to defend itself from military assault and terrorist attacks.
Source: Palestine Chronicle