Oxfam reaction to official statistics on UK arms export licenses to Israel

- Published:
- Short URL: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/mc/6hgwvc/

In response to the publication of official statistics on UK arms export licenses to Israel today, which showed the Government granted over 100 new arms licenses since 7 October and allowed hundreds more existing licenses to continue, Oxfam Chief Executive, Halima Begum, said:

“It is a comprehensive failure in the UK’s moral leadership and the values of humanity for which this country is still known on the global stage that the Government has granted more than 100 new licenses for arms sales to Israel. It is also a remarkable feat of intellectual compromise for the UK government to talk about peace in Gaza while facilitating the supply of even greater flows of weapons to one of the belligerents. This has occurred in the unequivocal knowledge that tens of thousands of innocent Palestinian children and their parents are being killed by Israel’s prosecution of the war in Gaza.

“While Oxfam condemns all breaches of humanitarian law and continues to call for the release of all hostages alongside a permanent ceasefire, innocent Gazans face relentless bombardment, growing hunger and the destruction of hospitals, schools, and other vital humanitarian infrastructures. There is nowhere left to run. There is nowhere to seek shelter and safety. Compounding the unimaginable suffering that will inevitably result from the granting of these licenses, the UK government has also allowed hundreds of existing arms licenses to remain current without questioning a single one.

“By continuing to sell arms to Israel, the UK Government is helping to fuel this dreadful conflict and it needs to urgently change course. Immediately suspending all licenses for sales of arms and military equipment would send a powerful message that the UK is serious about pushing for the lasting ceasefire and longer-term peace which is the only way to stop the devastating humanitarian crisis unfolding before our eyes, and to ensure the safe release of hostages.”


For more information, please contact Sarah Dransfield in the Oxfam press Office on 07884 114825 / sdransfield@oxfam.org.uk

Notes to editors

  • Official Statistics on the Government’s UK arms exports to Israel from 27 October to 31 May, published today: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/export-control-licensing-management-information-for-israel/export-control-licensing-data-31-may-2024
  • The data shows the number of extant (current) licences where Israel was included as a destination as of 31 May 2024 was 345. A further 185 Israel export control licence applications are in-progress.
  • 108 new licenses have been approved since 7 October and only 2 licenses requests for non-military equipment were rejected, but this was due to applications not being properly filled in.
  • Examples of military equipment covered under the licences include components for military aircraft, components for military vehicles, components for combat naval vessels, training small arms ammunition, submarine components and components for body armour.

Press contact

For comments, interviews, or information please contact Sarah Dransfield (Senior Press Officer):