The British government has refused fifty-two requests from Israel for military equipment over the past five years, citing concerns that there was a "risk of its use for internal repression" and that it might contribute to "internal tensions or conflict". The impact on regional stability was also a consideration, reported Haaretz. The information was given in a report issued by the UK's Department for Business, Innovation and Skills. Some of the equipment requested by Israel could be used for both civilian and military purposes. Britain also feared that some of the items could be re-sold by the Israelis to third parties who might be "undesirable end-users".
According to Haaretz, Britain rejected requests for, inter alia, items as diverse as engines for naval patrol boats; components for artillery shells; military communications equipment and anti-missile software. The newspaper noted that Britain is not the only country that has refused to supply Israel with military equipment out of fears that it will be used for repression or aggravate the conflict with the Palestinians. In 2010 the Dutch government also refused to sell Israel night vision systems for the Prison Service and police rescue unit.
Haaretz had reported on Tuesday that the British report reveals that Israel had sought permits to supply Pakistan, the UAE, Algeria, Egypt and Morocco with security equipment which includes British-made parts. This included unmanned drones and radar.
Although a Pakistani military spokesperson denied that his country purchased military equipment from Israel, Haaretz pointed out that an arms deal with Islamabad was in place in August 2011.