News ID: 215800
Published: 1000 GMT May 27, 2018
Israeli tank fire kills three Palestinians

UK arms sales to Israel hit record in 2017

UK arms sales to Israel hit record in 2017

International Desk

United Kingdom’s defense contractors supplied Israel with record amounts of arms in 2017, The Guardian newspaper reported on Sunday.

According to the figures provided by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), in 2017 the UK sold arms to Israel worth 221 million pounds ($294 million), indicating a huge increase from 86 million pounds in 2016 and 20 million pounds in 2015, The Guardian reported.

According to the newspaper, the list includes equipment, small arms ammunition, missiles, weapon sights and sniper rifles.

The report said the figures were released just days after it was confirmed that Prince William will represent the UK government on a visit to Israel next month.

The news came amid ongoing violence along the Gaza fence. The clashes erupted in the light of the Great March of Return rally being held by Palestinians since March 30. The demonstrators claim the right of return for people displaced during the war in 1948.

Israeli forces have been suppressing the demonstrators using lethal weapons.

Israeli tank shelling killed three Palestinians in the Gaza Strip on Sunday, medical officials said, Reuters reported.

Israel’s military confirmed the strike, saying it targeted an observation post belonging to the Palestinian resistance group, the Islamic Jihad.

Israel’s military alleged that the shelling was retaliation for an explosive device near Gaza’s fence.

The military on Saturday announced the death of a soldier who was injured during a raid in the occupied West Bank on Thursday when Palestinians reportedly dropped a stone slab on his head from a building.

Israeli warplanes also on Saturday hit what the regime called targets belonging to the Hamas resistance movement, without any report of casualties.

At least 115 Palestinians have been killed and over 13,300 people hurt by army gunfire in the protests, drawing foreign censure.

The largest number of fatalities on a single day came on May 14, which coincided with the 70th anniversary of Israel’s creation in 1948. The Palestinians were commemorating the Nakba (Catastrophe) Day, while also protesting the US relocation of its embassy from Tel Aviv to Al-Quds.

There have been no Israeli casualties along the fence.


New demonstration


Organizers said they would ramp up demonstrations on Tuesday with a flotilla of boats that would set off from Gaza in an attempt to break Israel's maritime blockade of the enclave.

"Gaza has become a big, isolated prison, deprived of minimal rights, because of the unjust Israeli siege,” they said in a statement, referring to clampdowns by Israel and neighbor Egypt.

In the latest move, Israel’s Defense Ministry said on Sunday that work had started on a maritime wall that would block infiltration by seaborne Palestinians from north Gaza.

The sea wall, due to be complete by the end of the year, entails three layers below and above the Mediterranean surface, and will employ fortified rock as well as barbed wire, the ministry said.

To counter that threat, the Israeli military said it had mobilized private drone-racers as army reservists, who then try to ram into the kites with the remote-controlled aircraft.

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