Cable warning over Israel exports

Vince Cable said the exports would be reviewed in the event of further hostilities

Vince Cable said the exports would be reviewed in the event of further hostilities

First published in National News © by

Licences for the export of equipment which could be used by Israeli forces in Gaza will not be suspended unless there is a fresh outbreak of violence, the Government has announced.

A review of existing licences found 12 were for components which could be part of equipment used in Gaza by the Israel Defence Forces and Business Secretary Vince Cable said they would be suspended if the ceasefire broke down.

The review found that the vast majority of exports currently licensed for Israel are not for items that could be used by forces in Gaza, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Bis) said.

Mr Cable said: " We welcome the current ceasefire in Gaza and hope that it will lead to a peaceful resolution. However the UK Government has not been able to clarify if the export licence criteria are being met.

"In light of that uncertainty we have taken the decision to suspend these existing export licences in the event of a resumption of significant hostilities.

"No new licences of military equipment have been issued for use by the Israeli Defence Force during the review period and as a precautionary measure this approach will continue until hostilities cease."

The licences include components for military radar systems, combat aircraft and tanks, Bis said.

The position announced by the Lib Dem Cabinet minister falls short of the immediate suspension of arms exports his party had called for.

The Lib Dem policy, championed by party leader and Deputy Prime Minister Nick Clegg, has faced opposition from Tory ministers within the Cabinet.

A Lib Dem spokesman said: " It is no secret that there has been a difference of opinion in the coalition Government on this issue.

"Nick Clegg and Vince Cable have been very clear for some time both privately and publicly that they wanted to see arms export licences to Israel suspended because of the situation in Gaza.

"This is a coalition and this is as far as we have been able to reach in collective agreement with the Conservatives.

"It has taken a significant amount of time and effort from Liberal Democrats in Government to get us this far.

"What is clear now is that we have agreement that if the current ceasefire ends in Gaza, which we all hope it doesn't, and there was a resumption of significant hostilities, then there would be an immediate suspension of those arms export licences to Israel that give cause for concern."

The licences do not include the single licence granted in February 2013 for the export of up to £7.7 billion of cryptographic equipment or any components that form part of the Iron Dome system protecting Israel from the rocket attacks launched by Hamas.

Tory former Foreign Office minister Baroness Warsi, who resigned in protest at the Government's policy on Gaza, said the decision not to suspend the licences immediately was "morally indefensible".

In a post on Twitter she said: "I understand the arms export licences will only be suspended IF hostilities resume !! So more people have to die before our criteria is met.

" The #UK Govt position to ONLY suspend IF hostilities resume is 'morally indefensible'. Surely the destruction to date meets the criteria!"

Comments (6)

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6:03pm Tue 12 Aug 14

Counterview says...

More clarity - or not - from the A-Team
More clarity - or not - from the A-Team Counterview
  • Score: 0

6:30pm Tue 12 Aug 14

mixxer says...

Cowards!
Cowards! mixxer
  • Score: 1

7:33pm Tue 12 Aug 14

welshmen says...

Quite right Mr not so good at our Business Secretary, what you going to do if as always Hamas start's firing Rockets? stop their money aid?....
Quite right Mr not so good at our Business Secretary, what you going to do if as always Hamas start's firing Rockets? stop their money aid?.... welshmen
  • Score: 1

4:43pm Wed 13 Aug 14

Shropshirelad says...

Cameron and his Tory counterparts have been bought by the Israelis and they are deep down at the bottom of Netanyahu's pockets. He has brought shame on this country and it will be just another of the many reasons why hopefully, he will lose the next election. This country does not like one little bit, supporting state terrorists and mass murderers which the Israelis are and have been for the past many years.
Cameron and his Tory counterparts have been bought by the Israelis and they are deep down at the bottom of Netanyahu's pockets. He has brought shame on this country and it will be just another of the many reasons why hopefully, he will lose the next election. This country does not like one little bit, supporting state terrorists and mass murderers which the Israelis are and have been for the past many years. Shropshirelad
  • Score: 0

5:00pm Wed 13 Aug 14

welshmen says...

Israel is a Sovereign State, Hamas are a banned Terrorist Organisation that's kill's the very people they ere there to protect, Hamas executed 30 Palestinians two weeks ago for not staying in their homes after Hamas fired rockets from them....No shame on this Country, the shame is there for all to see, Islam the religion of peace, butchers of the middle east and anywhere they are peddling their Cult Ideology....
Israel is a Sovereign State, Hamas are a banned Terrorist Organisation that's kill's the very people they ere there to protect, Hamas executed 30 Palestinians two weeks ago for not staying in their homes after Hamas fired rockets from them....No shame on this Country, the shame is there for all to see, Islam the religion of peace, butchers of the middle east and anywhere they are peddling their Cult Ideology.... welshmen
  • Score: 0

11:27am Thu 14 Aug 14

Shropshirelad says...

Grateful if you would be very specific and tell us when/ where you learned about Hamas killing 30 people. Was it TV, Radio, Newspaper (which one)?, word of mouth or any other source. Out of all the world's population, you appear to be the only one who knows anything about this but now you have the opportunity to enlighten us all.
Grateful if you would be very specific and tell us when/ where you learned about Hamas killing 30 people. Was it TV, Radio, Newspaper (which one)?, word of mouth or any other source. Out of all the world's population, you appear to be the only one who knows anything about this but now you have the opportunity to enlighten us all. Shropshirelad
  • Score: 0
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