Haaretz 03:02 13/07/2009
U.K. hits Israel with partial arms embargo over Gaza war
By Barak Ravid
Britain has slapped a partial arms embargo on Israel , refusing to supply replacement parts and other equipment for Sa'ar 4.5 gunships because they participated in Operation Cast Lead in the Gaza Strip earlier this year.
Britain's Foreign Office informed Israel 's embassy in London of the sanctions a few days ago. The embassy, in a classified telegram to the Foreign Ministry in Jerusalem , said the decision stemmed from heavy pressure by both members of Parliament and human rights organizations.
The embargo followed a government review of all British defense exports to Israel , which was announced three months ago. In total, the telegram said, Britain reviewed 182 licenses for arms exports to Israel , including 35 for exports to the Israel Navy. But it ultimately decided to cancel only five licenses, all relating to the Sa'ar 4.5 ships. The licenses in question apparently cover spare parts for the ship's guns.