In a recent written response to a parliamentary question submitted by Kenny MacAskill, MP for Alba, East Lothian, the UK government disclosed details of military aid sent to Israel since 7 October 2023.

Leo Docherty MP, Minister of State for the Armed Forces, clarified that the assistance comprised non-lethal aid, specifically including medical aid.

“Since 7 October 2023, the UK Government has provided no lethal or military equipment other than medical supplies to Israel.”

The information, referenced from the Hansard record dated 2 May 2024, does not detail the scope or scale of the medical aid provided.

What’s going on?

According to a House of Commons library briefing paper, during the 2023/24 Israel-Hamas conflict, some MPs in the UK Parliament have raised concerns about UK arms exports to Israel, citing a risk that they could be used to violate international humanitarian law. At the International Court of Justice, Israel has also been accused by South Africa of international humanitarian law violations in its military operations in Gaza.

The Secretary of State for Defence, Grant Shapps, says that UK defence exports to Israel are “relatively small,” amounting to £42 million in 2022. Since 2008, the UK has licenced arms worth over £574 million to Israel, according to an analysis of Government export data by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), a UK-based pressure group that seeks an end to the global arms trade. In relation to the current Israel-Hamas conflict, CAAT has highlighted UK industry contributions to F-35 combat aircraft, which CAAT says are “currently being used in the bombardment of Gaza”.

Ministers have responded to such concerns by referencing the UK’s strategic export licencing system, under which all applications for a licence to export military equipment and related items are assessed against a set of criteria, and emphasised Israel’s right to defend itself within the bounds of international humanitarian law. The criteria reflect, among other things, the UK’s obligations under international law, and the potential for the goods to be used in the violation of human rights.

The Government says export licences are kept under review and can be amended, suspended, refused or revoked as circumstances require. The Government undertook a review of existing and pending licences in December 2023.

This briefing, created by the Hosue of Commons Library, explains how licences are granted, information on UK arms exports to Israel and the Government’s review of existing licences to Israel in December 2023.

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George has a degree in Cyber Security from Glasgow Caledonian University and has a keen interest in naval and cyber security matters and has appeared on national radio and television to discuss current events. George is on Twitter at @geoallison
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Dern (@guest_816740)
20 days ago

In fairness shooting down a Drone or Cruise Missile is technically “non-lethal.”

Frank62 (@guest_816775)
20 days ago
Reply to  Dern

Exactly what I was thinking. How about us shooting down those aimed at UKR? Double standards I think.

Dern (@guest_816851)
19 days ago
Reply to  Frank62

Just tell yourself that every missile intercepted flying towards Israel is one missile that wasn’t delivered to Russia.

Mark B
Mark B (@guest_816741)
20 days ago

Puzzled as to why IDF would use F35 in Gaza. Surely they would be more interested in keeping them in reserve for attacks from Iran etc. Besides don’t our supplies date back to a period prior the 7 Oct.

Bringer of facts
Bringer of facts (@guest_816746)
20 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

I would assume they use F-16s for Gaza ops and F-35s for Syria and Lebanon ops where they are more likely to encounter SAM systems

Alan Reid
Alan Reid (@guest_818490)
14 days ago
Reply to  Mark B

The “Aviationist” reports that the F-35 has been used during some close air support missions in Gaza. The IDF is utilizing its sophisticated targeting.
Israeli F-35Is Providing Close Air Support To Troops In Gaza With 2,000-lb Bombs – The Aviationist

farouk (@guest_816774)
20 days ago

What people don’t appear to know is they have have been hoodwinked into allegations of ‘genocide’ in Gaza. by a well coordinated misinformation campaign put in place before this kicked off by pro Hamas crowd and yet despite many signs of disinformation the western media is more than happy to parrot the propaganda from Hamas which was initially aimed at the Islamic crowd in the west, but has found a fertile home within the left of the political centre. We saw that after the Hospital bombing where the likes of BBC had no problem peddling the line 500 had died… Read more »

farouk (@guest_816785)
20 days ago

Thank you for removing my post where I posted actual facts (backed up by UN data) regards the false claims of genocide used by the left of the political centre to demand the West divests from supporting Israel which funny enough is what this thread is about. There’s one of the reasons i have gone back to my own blog regards military matters, where I can go into much greater detail on the subject at hand. So much for the adjective underneath the title.

Graham Moore
Graham Moore (@guest_816841)
19 days ago
Reply to  farouk

Farouk, where can we find your blog?