Peace & Justice is calling on Scottish Government to stop funding companies which arm Israel and Saudi Arabia, and on the UK to cancel permits on arms exports to Israel and Saudi Arabia.
Arms firms in Scotland who sell weapons to Israel received nearly £10m in grants from Scottish Enterprise according to The Ferret.
Peace & Justice (Scotland) Coordinator Brian Larkin said “Public money should not be provided to companies exporting arms to any country where they are likely to be used to commit human rights abuses, war crimes or in violation of international humanitarian law.
“Scottish Government says that grants to arms companies do not support the manufacture of arms but only support diversification. Yet our recent Made in Scotland report published jointly with Campaign Against the Arms Trade found that through Scottish Enterprise Scottish Government provides funding and free account management services to ten conpanies that are arming Saudi Arabia, Yet Scottish Enterprise held meetings around diversification from arms sales with only four of them over a 12 month period in 2020.”
“Just as Scottish Enterprise supports companies that are arming Saudi Arabia where tens of thousands of civilians, including thousands of children have been killed by its bombing Scotland is providing financial support to ompanies that are arming Israel.”
“With the lives of innocent civilians and children at stake due to arms made here and used by Israel and Saudi Arabia many people in Scotland want this to change. Such obfuscation is not good enough. We urge the Scottish Government to review this policy urgently and at a minimum put a hold on any funding to companies providing arms to Israel and Saudi Arabia until such a review is completed.”
According to The Ferret weapons provided to Israel by arms firms with sites in Scotland include rocket launchers, bombs and machine gun systems. At least 232 Palestinians, including 65 children, were killed. On the Israeli side, 12 people, including two children, were killed.
Companies in Scotland to receive taxpayers’ money from Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Government’s business agency, include: Leonardo MW, which received £7m from Scottish Enterprise between 2016 and 2020 and delivered 30 Aermacchi M346 aircraft to the Israeli Air Force in 2016; Raytheon, which makes systems for Paveway smart bombs, used in Gaza by the Israeli military, which was given around £100,000 by SE between 2016 and 2020; BAE Systems, which was given £1.6m and is a partner with US arms firm Lockheed Martin on the F35 combat aircraft which Israel uses and which received grants worth £176,615 and has supplied Israel with over 100 F-16I combat aircraft, as well as a rocket system.