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Britain denies selling Israel military gear: report


08:36, June 13, 2013

JERUSALEM, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Britain refused to sell Israel an array of military gear in recent years due to concerns that it might be misused for "internal repression" or damage "regional stability," the Ha'aretz daily reported Wednesday.

Fifty-two Israeli requests to buy military or dual-use equipment (which has both military and civilian purposes) were rejected from January 2008 to December 2012, a report by Britain's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (DBIS), which oversees security exports on behalf of the government, was quoted as saying.

It cited a "risk of their use for internal repression," an indirect reference to the Israeli military's operations in the Palestinian territories, as one major concern.

Other considerations behind London's repeated refusals were potential damage to "regional stability" and the "risk of diversion of re-export to undesirable end-users."

According to the DBIS report, items on the Israelis' shopping list included engines for aircraft and patrol boats, military communications equipment, parts for airborne radars and helicopter gunships, and navigation systems for military aircraft. Requests were also made to purchase components for artillery shells and explosives, software for anti-missile defenses and specialty metals.

Ha'aretz noted that the Netherlands, too, has declined to supply Israel with certain military equipment for much the same considerations cited by Britain.

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