Some British politicians are again seeking to enact an embargo on military exports to Israel. This effort tends to arise every time Palestinians attack Israel on a large scale and Israel defends itself. Since this always involves more Palestinians getting killed than Israelis some British politicians consider this “disproportionate” and thus a war crime. This time the case is being made that because twelve of the systems (weapons and other military equipment) used by the Israelis in the recent 50 day war with Hamas contained some British made components Britain was violating its own laws which forbid the export of military equipment to a foreign customer who uses these British items to oppress their own people. Most British voters and politicians see this as Israel exercising its right to self-defense. Others point out that Israel does not control Gaza, Hamas does and regularly calls for the destruction of Israel. In the 2014 war Hamas openly took credit for launching thousands of rockets into Israel and well as being responsible for the kidnapping and killing of three Israeli teenagers in June. This was the event that triggered the war. Britain had exported $10.5 million worth of military equipment to Israel during the first six months of 2014. Enough Britons and local politicians see Israel as the guilty party to get these embargo efforts into parliament and the news.
In 2009 Britain did suspend five export licenses relating to spare parts for the Italian 76mm guns used by Israeli Saar class missile boats. The export ban was imposed because during the fighting between Hamas and Israel earlier in 2009, Britain believes some Saar class ships fired their 76mm guns at Hamas targets, and endangered nearby civilians. The British critics believed this allowed them to invoke an embargo on the parts because of British arms export rules that state that any part used in a weapon; "where there is a clear risk that arms will be used for external aggression or internal repression" cannot be shipped. Oddly enough, none of the 177 other weapons related export licenses were cancelled. All this was an effort, by the British government, to appease anti-Israel members of parliament who want to impose even more severe punishment on Israel for "war crimes" against Palestinians. At the time appeasement was expected to continue although some politicians in Britain, and elsewhere, were also calling for a complete embargo on all trade with Israel until the Israelis stop repressing Palestinians, especially when Israel is attacked by Palestinians.