Israel Spends Record Sum on Weapons Purchases From the UK in 2017 - Report
The report comes amid ongoing deadly clashes between Palestinians in the Gaza Strip and Israeli border guards. Tel Aviv claims that the Gaza protests are organized as a provocation by Hamas.
The Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), a UK-based NGO, has published information on UK weapons exports to Israel for 2017. According to the data, the UK sold record £221 million ($294.5 million) worth of weapons and an additional £68 million ($90.6 million) worth of dual-use goods to Israel in 2017, which is greater than over the course of the preceding four years combined (£148 million worth of arms, or $197 million).
Weapons and equipment sold by the UK to Israel included small arms ammunition, missiles, sniper rifles and targeting equipment, as well as parts for military vehicles, such as airplanes. The most significant sum in 2017 was spent by the Israeli armed forces on technology for military radars.
Palestinians have been holding mass demonstrations near the Gaza Strip's border with Israel since March 30, known as the "Great March of Return." The demonstrators claim the right of return for people that were displaced during the war following Israel's creation in 1948.
The demonstrations have resulted in clashes between Gazans and Israeli border guards. Tel Aviv claims that the rallies are organized by Hamas in order to infiltrate Israel and conduct attacks against its citizens. According to Palestinian medical workers, since March 30, at least 115 Palestinians have been killed during the protests, while over 13,300 people have been injured.
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