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27 Aug 2014

Sarah Jane Brennan, RT

UAV Engines (part of Elbit Systems), Selex Galileo (part of Finmeccanica), Schleifring Systems (part of Schleifring und Apparatebau) & Raytheon accused of supplying arms to Israeli Government

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Against a backdrop of widespread bloodshed and devastation in Gaza, a mounting body of evidence indicates military equipment used by Israel during Operation Protective Edge was made in the UK...Approximately 44 defense companies spanning Scotland, England, Wales and Northern Ireland broker UK arms exports to Israel, according to the CAAT [Campaign Against the Arms Trade]. Four such firms are Raytheon, Schleifring Systems, Selex Galileo, and UAV Engines...In the wake of the IDF’s recent Gaza attacks, high profile politicians from all sides of Britain’s political spectrum have publicly pleaded with the UK government to rethink its policy of exporting arms to Israel...UK NGOs War on Want and Amnesty International UK have also called for Britain to terminate all arms exports to Israel... For weeks the UK government reviewed existing export licenses to Israel. Over the duration of this “review,” however, over 1,500 Palestinians civilians died as a result of IDF military aggression. On August 12, the UK government finally announced the findings of its probe into UK arms export licenses. Liberal Democrat MP, Vince Cable, admitted twelve UK licenses may have facilitated the export of military arsenal that could have been deployed in Operation Protective Edge...But the government has made no concrete promise to suspend these licenses...Barclays have also come under fire...for its investment in Elbit Systems...UK law firm Leigh Day issued a formal letter to Vince Cable on Friday on behalf of CAAT warning the UK government’s failure to immediately suspend current arms export licenses to Israel is unlawful given the risk these military wares may be deployed in Gaza. The firm warned it has been instructed to seek a judicial review if the government refuses to suspend the export of the components.