Britain refused to provide Israel with certain types of military equipment in recent years out of fears there was a “risk of their use for internal repression” and a “risk of contributing to internal tensions or conflict in the recipient country.” The equipment, Britain worried, might also damage “regional stability” or be transferred from Israel due to the “risk of diversion or re-export to undesirable end-users.”
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From January 2008 to December 2012, Britain rejected 52 Israeli requests to buy military or dual-use equipment (which can be used for both civilian and military purposes), according to a new report by the the British government’s Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. The department oversees security exports and publishes regular reports on permits granted or denied to purchase arms, military equipment or civilian items that are monitored because they can be put to security uses.
The British rejected requests for, among other things, the purchase of engines and other items for patrol boats; components for artillery shells; military communications equipment; airplane engines; parts for combat helicopters, military aircraft navigation systems and electronic warfare; components for explosives; protective suits and demolition equipment; detonators and other equipment for explosives; software for protecting planes against missiles; cryptography equipment; parts for airborne radars; chemicals and specialty metals.
Britain is not the only country that has refused to supply Israel with military equipment out of fears it will be used for repression or aggravate the regional conflict. The Dutch government, which sells only a small amount of military equipment to Israel, rejected a request to purchase night vision systems for the Israel Prisons Service and the police’s rescue unit in 2010. In 2009 the Dutch refused to sell thermal imaging components for a missile launching system to Rafael Advanced Defense Systems, and night vision components to Elbit.
The Netherlands also refused to supply Israel Military Industries with aluminum parts for a missile launching system that was intended for export to Rwanda and Azerbaijan. Elbit asked to purchase camouflage paint in Holland for unmanned aerial vehicles, but was refused.
Haaretz reported Tuesday that according to the British report on the supervision of security exports, Israel sought to export items to Muslim countries with which it does not have diplomatic ties.
According to the report, in 2011 Israel sought to purchase British components to export radar systems to Pakistan, as well as electronic warfare systems, Head-up Cockpit Displays (HUDs), parts for fighter jets and aircraft engines, optic target acquisition systems, components of training aircraft, and military electronic systems. In 2010, Israel applied for permits to export electronic warfare systems and HUDs with components from Britain to Pakistan.
Also in 2010, Israel sought permits to supply Egypt and Morocco with Israeli electronic warfare systems and HUD systems that use British parts.
Pakistan denied Tuesday that its military had purchased equipment from Israel. A spokesman from the media wing of the Pakistani military said the report was baseless. The British report states that Israel requested the equipment purchases intended for Pakistan in August 2011.