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Spain Blocks Arms Exports to Israel in Response to Gaza Conflict

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The Spanish committee of the Presidency, Treasury, Economy Ministry, Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry has made a decision to impose an arms embargo on Israel over the Gaza conflict, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.

MOSCOW, August 5 (RIA Novosti) - The Spanish committee of the Presidency, Treasury, Economy Ministry, Foreign Ministry and Defense Ministry has made a decision to impose an arms embargo on Israel over the Gaza conflict, Spanish newspaper El Pais reported.

El Pais revealed that Spain’s arms trade with Israel makes up 1 percent of Spain’s exports, totaling 4.9 million euros in 2013.

According to the newspaper, the low numbers suggest the embargo is politically fueled and that the severe civilian death toll, along with ongoing operations on Israel’s behalf against Hamas in the Gaza Strip, were behind the decision.

Israel stated last week that the reported 1,242 civilians killed in Gaza are victims of collateral damage in attacks against Hamas terrorists.

Spain is the second country to halt arm sales with Israel in the past 24 hours. In response to the conflict in Gaza, Britain is also reviewing all arms export licenses to Israel, a British government spokeswoman said.

Spain has taken similar measures in the past in response to conflicts in Egypt, Venezuela, and Ukraine. The decision will stand until September when the Spanish government will meet again and review the issue.

Israel’s offensive against Hamas began four weeks ago in response to a surge in cross-border rocket salvoes.

According to Gaza officials 1,797 Palestinians, mostly civilians, have been killed as a result, while Israel has lost 64 soldiers and three civilians so far. Due to the situation on the ground and the propaganda surrounding the conflict, it is difficult to calculate a definitive civilian death toll at this time.

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