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British arms sales to Israel face high court challenge

Leading UK law firm claims government’s failure to suspend existing export licences is illegal

A Palestinian man carries a child killed in the blast outside a UN run school in Rafah, in the south

A Palestinian man carries a child killed in the blast outside a UN run school in Rafah, in the southern Gaza Strip, earlier this month. Photograph: Hatem Ali/AP

By: Jamie Doward

Source: http://www.theguardian.com

The government faces being dragged into the high court over the sale of military hardware to Israel in an unprecedented legal move that puts the UK’s controversial export policy on a potential collision course with the EU.

Law firm Leigh Day, representing the Campaign Against Arms Trade(CAAT), has written to the business secretary, Vince Cable, claiming that the failure by the British government to suspend existing licences for the export of military components to Israel is unlawful as there is a risk that they may have been used in Gaza. It says that it has been instructed to seek a judicial review of the government’s reluctance to suspend licences unless it agrees to stop the export of the components.

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Britain decides to keep on arming Israel

A Palestinian man inspects the remains of a police center, which witnesses said was destroyed during the Israeli offensive

The remains of a police station attacked by Israel in Rafah, southern Gaza; Britain has manufactured many components of Israeli weaponry. (Abed Rahim Khatib / APA images)

By: Charlotte Silver

Source: http://electronicintifada.net/

Britain remains determined to keep on arming Israel, judging by a decision taken by one of the most senior figures in the UK government this week.

Vince Cable, the business secretary, has reviewed 130 licenses granted for exporting British weapons to Israel. On Tuesday, he announced that just twelve of these licenses would be suspended “in the event of a resumption of significant hostilities.”

This means that if the current “truce” between Israel and Hamas holds, then Britain will deliver all the military equipment that Israel has ordered. Israel will be able to prepare for its next offensive against Gaza, with the aid of British weaponry.

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