Amnesty International praises the Spanish Government for suspending arms sales to Israel


Amnesty says that the Government’s decision “is in accordance with international laws”.


Eduardo González. Madrid


Amnesty International has expressed its “satisfaction” with the decision taken by the Spanish Government to be the first country to temporarily suspend arms sales to Israel as a response to the attacks on civilian targets carried out by the Israeli army during their offensive in Gaza.


“Until effective  mechanisms are established to guarantee that the weapons are not used to carry out grave violations of the international law on human rights and of the International Humanitarian Law, no country should send weapons to Israel”, declared the adjunct director of Amnesty International Spain, Ana Rebollar, in a communiqué.


The Spanish decision is “in accordance with what is established by Spanish, European and international legislation on the transference of weapons”, AI added, calling for an “integral embargo on weapons to all areas of the conflict” because of the war crimes committed over the last month.


The Executive’s decision will be reviewed in September


Last Thursday, the Inter-ministerial Regulatory Board on Foreign Trade in Defence and Dual-Use Goods (JIMDDU, in Spanish), which is made up by the Ministries of Foreign Affairs, Defence and Economy, unanimously decided to freeze, for one month, the licences for weapons export to Israel. The suspension will be reviewed in September. AI has asked that the suspension is held in place until the UN Security Council and the European Union impose a global arms embargo on Israel, Hamas and other Palestinian armed militias.


So far, the Israeli Government has not wished to comment on the Spanish decision. In 2013 Spain sold military material valued at 4.9 million euros (up 87% from the previous year) to Israel, mostly guns, all-terrain vehicles, grenade fuses and flash-bangs. Exports calculated for 2014 were valued at around 6 million euros.


The JIMDDU had already adopted military decisions in the past, namely with regards to Ukraine, Venezuela and Egypt. Spain is a signatory of the International Arms Trade Treaty (ATT), which prohibits the transference of arms to countries in which genocide, war crimes and crimes against humanity could be perpetrated. Spanish laws controlling defence material and dual-use goods establish the suspension or repeal of these exports when there exists a risk of internal repression or the violation of Human Rights.



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