Germany, UK Provide Significant Supplies of Arms to Israel – Report

Germany, along with the UK, France and other EU countries was one of the first to condemn Palestinians and declare unconditional support for Israel. (Image: The Palestine Chronicle)

Germany and the UK have been providing Israel with significant arms supplies for many years, including components for warplanes, missiles and tanks, according to a report by the Anadolu news agency.

Although the US has traditionally been Israel’s largest arms supplier, Germany and the UK have also been providing significant support to Israel for many years, the Anadolu news agency reports. 

The report states that according to the latest data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the US supplied 70.2% of Israel’s conventional arms procurement from 2011 to 2020. Germany followed with 23.9%, and Italy with 5.9%.

It mentions that according to the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT),  a civil society organization, Germany and the UK do not transparently share arms delivery data.

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However, according to the database compiled by the organization from open sources, Anadolu reports, the German government approved at least €1.4 billion ($1.5 billion) worth of arms sales to Israel from 2015 to 2020.

While, at the same time, the UK exported military equipment totaling €426 million to Israel during the same period, including components for warplanes, missiles, tanks, small arms and ammunition.

The figures do not include arms produced in Germany and the UK that are exported to Israel through third countries, the report adds. 

Germany’s Arms Sales

The Anadolu report further states that according to the German Economic Affairs and Climate Protection Ministry’s 2023 Federal Government Arms Export Policy, the country’s arms and military equipment sales to Israel reached €326.5 million last year, a tenfold increase from 2022.

The German government approved 185 additional export license applications related to arms supplies from Israel, in the first few weeks after the start of Israel’s attacks on Gaza, the report adds. 

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A report by Der Spiegel magazine on January 17 stated that the government is reviewing and planning to approve the shipment of sensitive tank ammunition requested by Israel, it further adds.  

The magazine reportedly noted that in November, the Israeli government requested approximately 10,120 millimeters of tank ammunition from Germany.

This was discussed with great secrecy by the Prime Ministry and the defense, foreign affairs, and economy ministries, the report adds. 

Demands for British Halt of Supplies

According to CAAT data, Anadolu reports, Britain supplies approximately 15% of the components used in the F-35s employed in Israel’s bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

The F-35 project involves six different British companies, two of which sell rockets to Israel. Some companies, such as Israeli defense industry firm Elbit, also hold licenses for trading military equipment in Britain, the report states. 

On December 13, the Palestinian human rights organization Al-Haq and the London-based Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) initiated legal proceedings against the UK in the High Court, accusing it of disregarding demands to suspend arms sales to Israel, which violate international law and regulations.

“British weapons found to be linked to Israel’s breaches of international law ought to have their export licenses immediately suspended,” Al-Haq said in a statement.

Italy’s Weapons Already Being Tested

Following increased criticism, Deputy Prime Minister and Foreign Minister Antonio Tajani announced on January 20 that Italy decided to stop sending arms to Israel as of October 7 and emphasized that it had not sent any type of weapon, Anadolu reports. 

But Italian-made weapons previously supplied to Israel are already being tested by Israel in Gaza.

The 76mm naval gun produced by the Italian defense company Leonardo’s subsidiary Oto Melara was used for the first time by Israel in Gaza, the report states.

Elly Schlein, leader of the opposition Democratic Party (PD), had reportedly demanded that the government halt arms sales to Israel saying that it cannot risk the use of Italian-supplied ammunition in a manner that could be considered a war crime.

Spain: ‘No Military Equipment Sold’

Anadolu further reports that Centro Delas, a Spain-based organization focusing on international peace studies, revealed that a Spanish company sold military equipment to Israel for €987,000 ($1 million) in November by examining Spain’s foreign trade data.

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Following the development, the report adds, Spain’s government spokesperson and Education Minister Pilar Alegria said no military equipment had been sold to Israel since its attacks on Gaza began October 7, emphasizing that the data pertains to before that date.

France’s ‘Intelligence Support’

According to data from the French Ministry of Defense, France made approximately €200 million ($215 million) in arms sales to Israel from 2013 to 2022, the report states. 

Defense Minister Sebastien Lecornu, when asked on Oct. 16 if France provided military support to Israel, reportedly said it “mostly provides intelligence support to Israel.”

Lawmakers from the opposition Unbowed France (LFI) party have reportedly said that that France should not be complicit in the genocide committed by Israel, and initiated a signature campaign to halt arms sales to Israel. 

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Christophe Lemoine, spokesperson for the French Ministry of Foreign Affairs, reportedly told Anadolu that “We have taken note of South Africa’s new request for provisional measures related to the ICJ. This request is part of the process leading to the indictment accepted by the court on January 26.”

This was in response to a question about France planning to temporarily suspend arms shipments to Israel after the International Court of Justice’s (ICJ) decision.

“The (provisional) measures requested by the court are legally binding and mandatory for all parties, and must be implemented, also in line with France’s stated desires. We are committed to respecting international law and reiterate our support and confidence in the ICJ,” he said, according to Anadolu.

More Than 28,000 Killed

​​In its judgement on January 26, the ICJ found that “the facts and circumstances mentioned” in South Africa’s case against Israel accusing it of contravening the Genocide Convention, “are sufficient to conclude that at least some of the rights claimed by South Africa and for which it is seeking protection are plausible.” 

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 28,858 Palestinians have been killed, and 68,677 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

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Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip. 

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

(PC, Anadolu)

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1 Comment

  1. Why the need for Israel to receive arms from the UK and Germany, when it’s already receiving tons of free arms from its protector, the USA? And, even with such a large arsenal of highly sophisticated weapons, Israel has still failed to defeat the resistance fighters of Gaza. I can imagine what kind of a horrendous beating will be delivered upon the IDF, if indeed it decides to challenge Hezbollah to an all-out war.

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