Saturday 6 July 2024 - 02:29

Westerners Persist in Arms Sales to Israel Despite Genocide in Gaza

Story Code : 1145998
Westerners Persist in Arms Sales to Israel Despite Genocide in Gaza
Reports indicate that Western states, particularly the US, Germany, Italy, and Britain, remain major suppliers of lethal weapons to Israel amidst global appeals to halt their involvement in the regime’s violent campaign against the Gaza Strip. These countries are proceeding with arms trade despite concerns about potential complicity in Israeli war crimes against Palestinians.

In April, the United Nations Human Rights Council adopted a resolution urging nations to "cease the sale, transfer, and diversion of arms, munitions, and other military equipment to Israel," citing the regime's human rights abuses and violations of international law. The resolution received 28 votes in favor, with six against and 13 abstentions, notably including opposition from the US and Germany, Israel's top arms suppliers.

According to the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute (SIPRI), the US supplied 69 percent of Israel's weapons imports from 2019 to 2023. Reports from the Foundation for Defense of Democracies highlight significant transfers including air defenses, precision-guided munitions, artillery shells, tank rounds, and small arms, particularly since the Israeli war escalated in early October.

In recent developments, Israel approved a $3 billion deal with the US to purchase a third squadron of F-35 stealth fighter jets, manufactured by Lockheed Martin, bringing their total fleet to 75. Germany, the second-largest weapons exporter to Israel, supplied over 25 percent of its arms imports during the same period, focusing on submarines, warships, vehicles, aircraft engines, and torpedoes.

Italy, the third-largest exporter, accounted for 0.9 percent of Israel's imports from 2019 to 2023, with deliveries worth €2.1 million ($2.27 million) in late 2023, amid heightened war in Gaza. Meanwhile, the UK has authorized arms exports valued at £560 million ($715 million) to Israel since 2008, according to Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), with components for fighter jets like the F-35 and F-16 being traced to use in Gaza by the Israeli military.

Israel launched its intense military offensive on Gaza on October 7. To date, this onslaught has resulted in the deaths of at least 38,011 Palestinians, predominantly women and children, and has injured 87,445 others.