Spain suspends arms sales to Israel over Gaza operation

Marcy Oster

(JTA) — The Spanish government “provisionally suspended” arms sales to Israel over its operation in Gaza.

The country’s Interministerial Regulatory Board on Foreign Trade and Defense made the decision last week in Madrid, the Spanish daily El Pais reported Monday.

Spanish arms sales to Israel are limited, and were more than $6.5 million in 2013, or just over 1 percent of total Spanish exports. The arms included missile components, all-terrain vehicles, grenade fuses and optical systems.

The suspension will be reviewed in September at the next meeting of the interministerial committee, which is made up of of representatives of the ministries of the presidency, economy, foreign affairs, defense and finance. In the last year, Spain also has suspended arms sales to Egypt, Ukraine and Venezuela.

Spain’s minister of foreign affairs, Jose Manuel Garcia-Margallo, in a speech to the Spanish Congress the same days as the arms sales suspension described as “shocking” the numbers of victims in the bombing of Gaza.

Garcia-Margallo recognized “the right of Israel to protect its citizens, but conditioned the principle of proportionality and respect for civil protection they deserve, which is nothing but a manifestation of international humanitarian law. “