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What are arms sales to Israel worth – and could they be stopped?

The UK government is under growing pressure to stop selling arms to Israel after the deaths of seven aid workers in a military strike. Kim Sengupta examines the scale of the industry from the UK and US – and what difference stopping sales would make

Thursday 04 April 2024 08:39
Protests outside Elbit Systems’ factory in Leicester on 20 March
Protests outside Elbit Systems’ factory in Leicester on 20 March (Martin Pope/SOPA/Shutterstock)

If Britain were to suspend arms sales to Israel, it would be joining Canada, the Netherlands, Japan, Spain and Belgium, who have already done so with broad overall public support.

However, the value of UK arms exports to Israel is relatively low, amounting to £42m in 2022 out of global arms sales of £70.6bn for that year.

Germany has stated that it will continue with weapons exports for the time being, but it is said to be reviewing an Israeli request for additional tank ammunition as it faces legal action from a citizens’ group whose family members are among the casualties in Gaza.

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