Accessibility links

Britain Revokes 5 Arms Export Licenses to Israel 

Israeli and British officials say Britain has revoked licenses from several companies that export arms to Israel because of British concerns over Israel's recent war in the Gaza Strip.

The British Embassy in Tel Aviv issued a statement Monday saying it is British policy to ensure such licenses meet European Union and national arms-export criteria. It said that Britain decided that, in a small number of cases, Israeli action in Gaza meant the arms were used in a manner that violates the criteria.

Britain reviewed 182 licenses for arms exports to Israel and revoked five. Those five covered parts used for Israeli Saar missile boats - vessels that were used off Gaza's coast in the three-week Israeli military offensive that ended in January.

The United Nations Development Program estimates 15,000 buildings were damaged or destroyed during that offensive.

It says it will take a year to clear the tons of rubble, at a cost of approximately $12 million.

Israel says it launched the offensive in late December to stop rocket attacks from the militant group Hamas.

At least 1,300 Palestinians and 13 Israelis were killed in the conflict.

Some information for this report was provided by AFP and AP.