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Puma

Another example of a MBT converted to APC. Sh'ot (Centurion) tanks were converted to armored personnel carriers for the Israeli Combat Engineer Corps. The Puma's role is to provide protection and fire support for the Engineers as they clear paths through minefields.

The Israeli provided assurances about the use of UK-supplied equipment in the Occupied Territories (OTs) exported under previous Administrations. The UK Government looked into the issue in 2003 and was able to inform Parliament of the outcome of these inquiries. The only equipment that had been identified as being used by the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) in the OTs, and that can justifiably be regarded as constituting a breach of the assurances, was a combination of Puma and Nachpadon armoured personnel carriers (APCs). These are derivative APCs on a Centurion chassis, which therefore have a significant and recognisable UK content. Parliament was informed of this in Mr Bradshaw's reply to a parliamentary question from Mr Galloway on 11 March 2002.

In the view of the Blair Government the Israeli assurances did not cover equipment consisting of components exported by the UK to a third country, which components were then incorporated in that country into products for onward export. The Foreign Secretary's announcement of 8 July 2002 set out how the Government will approach licence applications for goods where it is understood that the goods are to be incorporated into products for onward export. The Blair Government re-emphasised current concerns about exporting arms to Israel that might be used against Palestinian targets, and that the UK policy on assessing Israeli export applications has not changed: the UK continued to assess export licence applications for the proposed export of controlled goods to Israel on a case-by-case basis against the consolidated EU and national arms export licensing criteria.



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