Western countries, companies restrict munitions sales to Israel amid Gaza onslaught: Report

Western countries, companies restrict munitions sales to Israel amid Gaza onslaught: Report

Italy, Canada, Belgium halt defense exports to Israel amid its 9-month offensive on Gaza

By Abdelraouf Arnaout

JERUSALEM (AA) – Several Western countries and companies have restricted the sale of raw materials to Israel that can be converted to ammunition amid Tel Aviv’s deadly offensive on the Gaza Strip, according to Israeli media on Tuesday.

Weapons suppliers from European countries "have simply stopped responding to their Israeli counterparts," Israeli financial newspaper Calcalist said.

It said Italy, Canada and Belgium have announced a halt to defense exports to Israel. Spain also prevented a ship carrying a weapons shipment from India to Israel from docking at its ports.

Some other countries, including Serbia, however, continue to provide an airlift of military supplies to Israel.

The halt of supplies of raw materials to Israel has raised concerns in the Israeli Defense Ministry and army about the possibility of an ammunition shortage.

Looking for alternatives, the Israeli defense establishment has begun to promote "the advancement of the local industry and reducing reliance on imported shells and ammunition from foreign countries," the newspaper said.

This option, however, is not sufficient as the ammunition produced in Israel is more expensive than that can be imported from abroad.

Israel, flouting a UN Security Council resolution demanding an immediate cease-fire, has faced international condemnation amid its continued brutal offensive on Gaza since an Oct. 7, 2023 attack by Palestinian group Hamas.

Nine months into the Israeli war, vast tracts of Gaza lie in ruins amid a crippling blockade of food, clean water and medicine.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice, whose latest ruling ordered Tel Aviv to immediately halt its military operation in the southern city of Rafah, where over a million Palestinians had sought refuge from the war before it was invaded on May 6.

*Writing by Ahmed Asmar

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