The Israeli Air Force has begun grounding
its McDonnell Douglas F-4 2000 Phantom fighters, because the UK
won't export licences for the manufacture of cartridges in the
Martin Baker emergency ejection seats. Sources in Israel report the
Martin Baker Company is not only preventing sale of the vital
cartridges from its plants in Britain - the company is also
preventing delivery of these items from its plant in the USA.
Call The Lawyers
It's the latest development in an ongoing
technology trade spat between the United Kingdom and Israel over
the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians. In addition to the
ejection seat cartridges, Israeli manufacturers of Unmanned Air
Vehicles are now trying to replace power plants originally supplied
by the British UAV Engine company.
The ban is part of Britain's unofficial embargo on sales to
Israel, "connected with Israel's actions in Gaza and in the West
Bank." The UK sanctions cover at least 140 UK-manufactured
items, although the Foreign office denies there is an arms embargo
On The Other Side...
On the other side of the Arab-Israeli conflict, British arms
sales continue unabated to Jordan, which has signed a peace treaty
with Israel. But one British newspaper reports many of the arms
sold by Britain to Jordan end up in the hands of Iraqi dictator
Correspondent Dave Bender in Jerusalem
contributed to this report.