Thank you for contacting me about an arms embargo on Israel.
As someone who has visited the West Bank and witnessed the everyday difficulties with which Palestinians have to struggle, I am very sympathetic to doing what we can to end their suffering and make their lives easier.
At the moment a blanket arms embargo will not do anything to solve the underlying problem, which is the continued Israeli occupation of Palestinian territory.
The Government, however, takes its arms export responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most restrictive licensing systems in the world. All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking into account all relevant factors.
A licence would not be issued for any country if there was a clear risk that any exports might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law. The Government continues to monitor the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and takes into account the latest circumstances when assessing licence applications.
Thank you again for taking the time to contact me.
EDWARD LEIGH MP