Anti-Israel protest targets British arms’ company

January 19th, 2009 - 11:32 pm ICT by IANS  

London, Jan 19, (IANS) Anti-Israel protesters Monday staged a demonstration here outside an armament company that supplies military hardware to Israeli security forces, IRNA reported.The Lichfield-based company, a subsidiary of Israel’s Elbit systems, supplies Wankel engines that are used in Hermes 450 surveillance aircraft (drone), the report said.

The aircraft were believed to have been widely used in the latest Israeli operation in Gaza. The protesters were demanding the end of the hardware supplies to Israel.

The protest comes after Amnesty International, a human rights group, said that the specially designed engines for the pilot-less Israeli drones were made in Britain.

The Amnesty said the UN relief agency in Gaza had seen these drones being used by the Israeli forces. The rights group has called on the British government to suspend all arms sales to Israel.

“The British government must ensure that weapons exports to Israel does not encourage human rights abuses,” Tim Hancock, campaigns director of the group, said, adding that the ban must also include military hardware.

The pilot-less aircraft were also used by Israel on previous occasions. The government should ensure that the Britain-based firms are not involved, directly or indirectly, in attacks on civilian targets, Hancock said.

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