Association for Defending Victims of Terrorism – Dozens of Israeli arms companies are set to take part in London’s annual arms fair on Tuesday, an event campaigners have branded “a marketplace in death and destruction”.
The Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) takes place at the ExCeL centre in London each year and has repeatedly come in for criticism from anti-arms trade activists. It is scheduled to be held between 12 and 15 September.
Among those attending will be BAE Systems, Lockheed Martin, Boeing and Thales as well as more than 40 Israeli arms companies that have been accused of complicities in human rights abuses carried out against Palestinians.
In a statement on Monday, Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) said the companies taking part read as a “who’s who of the world’s worst arms dealers”.
“Israel is an apartheid state, and it is disgusting that the UK is not only selling weapons to Israel but encouraging Israeli arms companies to sell their weapons in London,” said Emily Apple, CAAT’s media coordinator, adding that companies like Elbit “battle test” their weapons on Palestinians in the occupied territories.
“Deals done at DSEI will cause misery across the world, causing global instability, and devastating people’s lives. Representatives from regimes such as Saudi Arabia, who have used UK-made weapons to commit war crimes in Yemen, will be wined and dined and encouraged to buy yet more arms.”
The DSEI is supported by the UK government’s Defence and Security Organisation (DSO) and features representatives from an array of private companies and governments, including many engaged in routine human rights abuses, according to anti-arms trade campaigners and human rights organisations.