News story

Review of export licensing procedures for Israel

The government has today (14 July 2015) announced the outcome of a review of export licensing for Israel.

The review concluded that 11 months after the establishment of a ceasefire between Israel and Hamas, in the wake of last summer’s Operation Protective Edge in Gaza, there is now sufficient information from a wide variety of sources to apply standard export licensing procedures using the Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria without any additional measures.

The Consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria apply a number of tests, on a case-by-case basis, to all applications for licences to export military and dual use equipment anywhere in the world. These Criteria consider a range of issues, including the existence of a clear risk that exports might be used for internal repression or in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law. The government will not grant a licence if the export fails to meet any of the criteria.

Following the review the government has concluded that in the present context where the facts are clearer these Criteria may now be applied, without any additional measures, to provide a robust and sufficient framework for assessing all new applications and licences already in circulation to export military and dual use equipment to Israel.

In August 2014 the government announced that it had identified 12 export licences it would suspend, as a precautionary measure, in the event of a resumption of significant hostilities. It was concerned that, in these circumstances, it would be unable to clarify whether the export licensing criteria were being met. As a result of the most recent review this additional measure has now been lifted and the government is confident that all export licences in circulation for Israel meet these Criteria.

The government continues to monitor conflict and tension around the world. It retains the power to suspend export licensing where the security conditions in the export destination deteriorate to the extent that is impossible or extremely difficult to apply standard export licensing procedures.