JERUSALEM, Israel - The British has government imposed a partial arms embargo on Israel as retribution for the IDF's (Israel Defense Forces) three-week military operation in January against Hamas terrorists in the Gaza Strip.
According to Israeli embassy staff in London, the decision came after British parliamentarians and human rights groups pressured the government for a total arms embargo against the Jewish state, which the government declined to implement.
Following a three-month review of the nation's 182 defense exports to Israel, the British revoked five licenses, all related to spare parts for guns on the Sa'ar 4.5 ships because of participation in the Gaza operation.
"U.K. Equipment was not exported for specific use in Operation Cast Lead," a spokesman for the British Embassy in Tel Aviv said.
"We do not grant export licenses where there is a clear risk that arms may be used for external aggression or internal repression," the spokesman said.
Israel's Foreign Ministry responded to the embargo by noting that defense-related imports from Great Britain represent a very small percentage of the total.
"We've had many embargoes in the past," Foreign Minister Avigdor Lieberman told Israel Radio. "We can manage," he said.
Sources: Haaretz, israel national news