News Column

US, UK supply Israel with weapons against Gaza

August 2, 2014

TEHRAN, Aug. 02 (MNA) The United States and England have decided to supply Israel with munitions in its intensive offensive against besieged Gaza Strip. According to Reuters, White House spokesman Josh Earnest said on Thursday that resupplying the Israelis was "a part of a routine foreign military sales delivery." "The requested items were readily available and were provided as they have been on numerous other occasions," Earnest said. Meanwhile Pentagon Spokesman Steve Warren added that "it's become clear that the Israelis need to do more to live up to their very high standards - their very high and very public standards - for protecting civilian life." The Pentagon has said it allowed Israel to tap a US stockpile inside Israel to restock two different types of ammunition. It described the munitions on Thursday as 120 mm tank rounds and 40 mm illumination rounds, fired from grenade launchers. A US defense official had offered a different description of the ammunition on Wednesday, saying they were grenades and mortar rounds. The munitions were part of a program managed by the US military and called War Reserves Stock Allies-Israel (WRSA-I), which stores munitions locally for US use that Israel can also access in emergency situations. Although Israel did not cite an emergency situation, the United States decided to draw some munitions from the stockpile anyway to rotate out older arms. "This is simply a rotating (of) munitions out of the stockpile in order to get newer munitions placed in there," Warren said. US weapons supply for Israel comes amid international opposition to the regime's attrocities on besiged Gaza which has led to killing of over 1640 Palestinians mostly civilians. In the meantime, another report by The Independent based on some documents unveiled to it, the UK has sold weapon components which are used in Israeli weapons shelling upon Gazans. Among the manufacturers given permission to make sales were two UK companies supplying components for the Hermes drone, described by the Israeli air force as the "backbone" of its targeting and reconnaissance missions. One of the two companies also supplies components for Israel's main battle tank. Labor MP Katy Clark told The Independent: "By refusing to investigate this vital question the British Government is trying to bury their heads in the sand. This is a shameful approach to take and frankly makes the Government look as if it has something to hide. The British public has the right to know the level of support which the United Kingdom has provided to the Israeli armed forces through arms sales." In 2009, the Foreign Secretary David Miliband said some IDF equipment used in a previous, heavily criticized offensive in Gaza that year had "almost certainly" contained British-supplied components and vowed all future export applications would take this into account. Israel is one of the biggest customers for British exports of so-called 'dual-use' equipment capable of both civilian and military deployment in a trade worth more than 7bn last year. But according to documents of the 42m of so-called "military list" exports approved since 2010, some 10m has been licensed in the last 12 months. The data reveals that dozens of highly specialized UK defense companies have secured deals with Israeli partners and the Israeli military, ranging from bulletproof garments to naval gun parts and small arms ammunition. The sales are entirely lawful and form part of Britain's 12bn annual arms export trade. Drones have played a significant role in the action, flying above the Occupied Territory using sophisticated surveillance technology to pinpoint targets and guide in missile and smart bomb strikes. The drones are also used to deliver 'warning shots' by firing smaller missiles into targeted buildings prior to heavy munitions delivered by jets such as the American-built F-16. ZK/HRGH MNA END

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Source: Mehr News Agency (Iran)

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