Sunday, 20 Jun 2021

Jeremy Corbyn demands answers on UK arms dealing to Israel in furious Commons outburst

Israel-Gaza: CCTV captures moment of strike in Petah Tikva

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Israel has been locked in a violent conflict with Palestinian militant group Hamas for over a week. Hamas has been launching rockets at Israeli towns and cities whilst Israel has targeted Gaza with airstrikes and artillery.

Appearing virtually before the House of Commons Mr Corbyn demanded answers from James Cleverly, minister of state for the Middle East and North Africa.

He said: “The images of death, destruction and loss of life all over the region are horrific.

“The targeted bombings taking place on buildings in Gaza, the tanks on the West Bank and the destruction of educational and health facilities is absolutely appalling.

“Could the Minister explain exactly what is the nature of Britain’s military relationship with Israel, what is the nature of that cooperation with Israel and can he tell the House if any weapons sold by Britain to Israel have been used to bomb places in Gaza?”

Mr Corbyn also demanded to know whether drone parts made in the UK had been deployed over Gaza or the West Bank.

Mr Cleverly responded by insisting Britain has tough export controls and pointing out Israel itself has been under attack.

He commented: “The UK has a robust arms export licencing regime and all export licences are assessed in accordance with it.

“I can assure him that the UK takes its arms export responsibilities very seriously and I would also remind him that Israel is responding to rockets fired at it from an organisation closely associated with Iran and we would urge all nations to take their arms export responsibilities as seriously as the UK does.”

Iran has been accused of supporting Hamas, along with Lebanese military group Hezbollah, with weapons and money.

Read more: Killing goes on in Gaza as both sides Joe Biden’s plea for ceasefire

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