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Britain imposes partial arms embargo on Israel

JERUSALEM (JTA) — Britain imposed a partial arms embargo on Israel.

The British Foreign Office informed Israel that it will not supply replacement parts and other equipment for the Sa’ar 4.5 gunship because the fleet participated in Israel’s military offensive in the Gaza Strip, Ha’aretz reported Monday.

After reviewing 182 licenses for arms exports to Israel, Britain decided to cancel five, according to the Israeli daily. The review was announced in April.

The embargo follows efforts by British lawmakers and human rights organizations to impose a complete arms embargo on the Jewish state.

The British Embassy in Tel Aviv said there had been no change in policy, according to Reuters.

"We do not believe that the current situation in the Middle East would be improved by imposing an arms embargo on Israel," the embassy said Monday in a statement. "Israel has the right to defend itself and faces real security threats."

The statement adds that "Future decisions will take into account what has happened in the recent conflict. We do not grant export licenses where there is a clear risk that arms will be used for external aggression or internal repression."

The statement also says that Britain supported the European Union presidency statement that called Israeli actions during the Gaza operation "disproportionate."

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