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War, Peace and Development European Parliament

Arms embargo against Israel

   Thu 18/04/2002

The Council has imposed arms embargoes against a number of countries including Afghanistan, Burma, China, Democratic Republic of Congo, Liberia, Libya, Sierra Leone, Sudan and, most recently, Zimbabwe (18 February 2002).

The EU Code of Conduct for Arms Exports was adopted 8 June 1998 with the aim of "setting high common standards" for arms exports. Criteria include respect for human rights in the country of final destination. In particular, Member States will "not issue an export licence if there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression", including, inter alia, "… summary or arbitrary executions, …" (criterion 2b). Other criteria include the existence of tensions or armed conflicts, and whether there is a clear risk that the arms would be used "to assert by force a territorial claim" (criterion 4) and compliance with international commitments, including humanitarian law (criterion 6).

In its conclusions at the Barcelona European Council, the EU repeated its condemnation of Israel by stating that Israel "must immediately withdraw its military forces from areas placed under control of the PA, stop-extra-judicial killings, lift the closures and restrictions, freeze settlements and respect international law."

In the light of the above, does the Council intend to impose an arms embargo on Israel? If not, does the Council find this consistent with the intention of the EU Code of Conduct and Title V of the Treaty?

Will the Council ask the Commission (in accordance with Article 14(4) of the TEU) to assess the consistency of its arms embargo policy?