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Israel and Lebanon: Arms

Volume 685: debated on Monday 9 October 2006

asked Her Majesty's Government:

What United Kingdom weaponry, equipment or components were used in the recent conflict in Israel and Lebanon.[HL7398]

The Government are aware of media reports that British-made night vision goggles were found in Lebanon and have been in close touch with the Israeli Defence Force who have confirmed that this was not the case. There were, however, two pieces of British equipment found. One was a commercially available remote video camera for which no export licence was required. The other was a thermal imaging system that was exported under licence in 1999 for use in a domestic residence. Proper procedures were followed at the time, including making a careful risk assessment. This concluded there was no reason to suspect that the equipment would be used for anything other than its described purpose.

In other respects, we cannot give categorical details of items of UK origin used in the recent conflict. However, all applications for export licences to transfer arms and related weaponry to that region, as with all other regions, are assessed rigorously on a case by case basis against the consolidated criteria, taking full account of the prevailing circumstances at the time of application and other relevant announced government policies. Any application which fails to meet these criteria will be refused.