The British government approved arms sales to ‘Israel’ worth over £14 million in 2018, the same time the ‘Israeli’ military were accused of intentionally firing on and murdering Palestinian protestors on the Gaza border, it has been revealed.
Details and information released by the Department of International Trade (DIT) and compiled by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) show that weapons licensed for sale included parts for assault rifles, ammunition, and other arms that would be used against Palestinian demonstrations.
Last year on May 18th, a sale worth more than £90,000 was approved by the Government just four days after 68 Palestinians were shot dead by ‘Israeli’ soldiers. The export was approved the same week in which Theresa May described the killing as “extremely concerning”. 
Moreover, a debate was held in Parliament on the same day regarding the border violence enacted by ‘Israeli’ troops, with seven MPs urging greater scrutiny on UK weapons exports to ‘Israel’, whilst others called for a total ban on arms sales.
Nonetheless, this did not stop the Government from continuing to approve licences in the months ahead, which included missile technology, military radar equipment, and night vision gear that amount to £14 million from March 30th to the end of 2018.
“The message it sends is that, no matter what atrocities are inflicted on the Palestinian people, arms sales will continue,” said CAAT spokesman, Andrew Smith, “If shooting on the border didn’t stop the arms sales, if the bombardment in 2014 and 2008 didn’t stop them, what more will it take?”
Smith said that although it is not clear whether UK-made weapons were used specifically on the protestors, it symbolises the Government’s priorities in choosing business over morality and ethics, and that by continuing to arm and support the ‘Israeli’ military, it is highly probable that its weapons will be used against innocent Palestinians in the future.
The recent revelations come after a UK court of appeal declared that UK weapons exports to Saudi Arabia were unlawful as they contributed to civilian deaths and casualties in the Saudi-led bombing of Yemen, and the Government failed to assess whether such a contribution would breach international humanitarian law.
In an interview with the Middle East Eye, Husam Zomlot, Palestinian ambassador to the UK, said that it is the British government’s responsibility to assess whether its arms sales are lawful or not and that there was a wider legal context that must be analysed beyond the arms trade.
“The UK government can only say if it has done its due process. We are not aware of such a process to ensure that these weapons do not harm innocent Palestinians and they do not end up aiding Israel in its illegal occupation and colonisation of the land and people of Palestine.
In March 2018, over 189 Palestinian civilians were martyred and more than 6,100 were injured whilst demonstrating against ‘Israel’s’ brutal occupation and siege on the Palestinian territories. The demonstration was labelled the Great March of Return and the Breaking of the Siege.
The UN Independent Commission of Inquiry on the 2018 Gaza protests, which was created by the Human Rights Council in 2018, investigated the violent response by the ‘Israeli’ occupation forces towards the Palestinians protestors at the border and concluded that ‘Israel’ may be guilty of war crimes.
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