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Israeli arms firms exhibit at UK show

By Tom Newton Dunn,
Defence Correspondent
The Mirror
17 July 2002

TWO Israeli arms companies have been invited to show their wares at a popular British air show next week.

Rafael and Elbit Systems will be exhibiting their full range at the Farnborough International Airshow.

It is the first time Israeli companies have been invited to Farnborough since the Intifada uprising began in September 2000.

The show is run by the Society of British Aerospace Companies but is supported by the British Government.

Trade and Industry Secretary Patricia Hewitt will attend on Monday.

But her Department yesterday declined to comment on the ethics of the issue.

Labour MP Alice Mahon last night tabled a motion criticising the Government.

She said: "The message we are sending to our Arab friends is that we don't care what the Israeli government does."

Earlier this year, the Government refused export licences for Israel if equipment could be used against the Palestinians.

But in a U-turn last week Foreign Secretary Jack Straw agreed to export parts for US F16 fighters going to Israel.

And on Monday the Mirror revealed the MoD was to spend £200million on 5,000 Rafael Spike missiles, which the Israelis have used to target Palestinian militants.