Spain authorized the sale of 44 million in military material to Israel in the six months prior to the war in Gaza

The Government authorized the export of defense material for Israel worth more than 44 million euros during the first half of 2023, just before the war between the Jewish State and the Palestinian militias began in which already More than 22,000 Gazans have died and more of 50,000 have been injured for the indiscriminate bombings on the Gaza Strip.

This is stated in the statistics of Spanish exports of defense material, other material and dual-use products and technologies, published by the Secretary of State for Commerce. The data is dated November 30 and was sent to the Congressional Defense Commission on December 23.

The organization International Amnesty (AI) has echoed these statistics to once again ask the Spanish Government to suspend “comprehensively and permanently” the export of weapons and military materiel to Israel “until it ensures that it does not use those weapons to commit atrocities in the Palestinian Territories Busy“recalls Alberto Estévez, spokesperson on weapons at Amnesty International Spain.

Temporary suspension of exports

The Government suspended permits to export military material to Israel when it declared a state of war and launched its brutal attack on Gaza. At least that is what public data shows and this was reported last December, in an appearance in Congress, by the Minister of Foreign Affairs, Jose Manuel Albares. Although for AI this suspension “is not enough” in light of Israeli practices in this and previous operations in Gaza and the occupied West Bank.

After the deadly surprise attacks by Palestinian militias in Israeli territory on October 7, in which they were More than 1,200 Hebrew civilians and soldiers murdered, Israel’s response has been the most lethal and destructive of all the military operations it has launched on the Gaza Strip. In the first month of the war alone, Israel killed as many Palestinians as in the previous 23 years, and most of the victims are women and children.

Massive bombings have destroyed residential buildingshave affected health centers and hospitalsto schools of the United Nations program, churches and mosques or refugee camps throughout the length and breadth of the enclave.

“Long before and after that date Israel has committed numerous alleged war crimes and other serious violations of international humanitarian law. For this reason, the Government must apply the prohibition of arms transfers to Israel established in article 6 of the Arms Trade Treaty, ratified by Spain in 2014,” considers Estévez, an expert in arms trade.

Bombs, missiles and torpedoes

The data analyzed includes 22 export licenses for defense material to Israel in the first half of the year, including lethal weapons, according to AI.

Specifically, the authorized equipment includes fire direction systems, armored vehicles, aircraft material and electronic and imaging equipment.

The exports made rose to more than 700,000 euros. Of them, more than 70,000 euros correspond to bombs, torpedoes and missiles. More of 600,000 euros were in systems shooting directionwhile other sales of light weapons, armor and imaging equipment have an unknown value, according to the AI ​​study.

“Although the Government has claimed in the past that it is non-lethal material, this is not true,” denounces Estévez, who specifies that part of this equipment “is susceptible to use in the alleged war crimes that Israel is carrying out.” committing in the last three months in Gaza and the West Bank.

More exports than in 2022

Export licenses to Israel for the first half of 2023 are much higher than those of all of 2022, when Spain authorized 34 licenses worth 9.2 million euros. According to AI, eight of the permits corresponded to the aircraft category, but there were also licenses for light weapons, fire direction systems, armor, electronic and imaging equipment.

The exports actually carried out amounted to 2.3 million euros which, according to AI, “include bombs re-exported to India and armored vehicles to the Philippines, as well as ammunition, fire direction systems and imaging equipment.”

The organization denounces that it is not possible to know how many licenses were granted to Israel or the value of exports between the end of August and October 7, when the conflict broke out again and the Government suspended these commercial operations with Israel.

Spain has temporarily paralyzed exports of military material to the Jewish State on several occasions, coinciding with Israeli operations in the Gaza Strip in which thousands of civilians have died. However, it has continued to provide material to the country once these offensives have ended, claiming that they are not used against the Palestinian civilian population.

Israel’s accusations of genocide and other crimes

In addition to serious indications of war crimes denounced by a multitude of international organizations, including the UN, Israel faces a genocide complaint against the Palestinian population. South Africa Last Friday he filed the accusation before the International Court of Justice (ICJ), the main judicial body of the United Nations. Israel has announced that it will appear before this court, located in The Hague (Netherlands), to defend itself against the “absurd blood libel” of which he accuses South Africa.

The Prosecutor’s Office of the International Criminal Court (ICC) – also located in The Hague, but not dependent on the UN – investigates possible war crimes by Israel against the Palestinian population, even before the current war.

They call for a European arms embargo

Amnesty International also calls on Spain to promote a European and United Nations arms embargo, both on Israel and on armed groups such as the Hamas militias. And it makes an explicit call for the Spanish Government, which has been known for criticizing Israeli actions and demanding a permanent ceasefire in Gaza, to formally ask the United States to stop supplying weapons to Israel.

Washington is Tel Aviv’s main ally and its largest exporter of military material, among which AI stands out. 155 millimeter artillery shells. The organization recalls that this ammunition has a great destructive capacity and is highly dangerous for civilians in a territory with a population density as high as that of the Gaza Strip, where more than two million people live in 365 square kilometers.

Related articles