Israel will defeat Hamas with or without British weapons, says Israeli foreign policy adviser

Talk of arms embargo will not deter Netanyahu from carrying out military operation in Rafah, Ophir Falk says


Mounting criticism over Israel's plans for a military offensive in Rafah may lead to an arms embargo, though Israeli officials say this will not deter them. (Photo by JALAA MAREY/AFP via Getty Images)

Israel will defeat Hamas with or without the assistance of British weapons, according to Benjamin Netanyahu’s top foreign policy adviser Ophir Falk.

As some UK politicians demand restricting weapons sales to Israel if its planned military offensive in Rafah goes ahead, Falk told the Sunday Telegraph that Israel “will do what it takes to finish the job” whether Britain continues supplying weapons or not.

“We will take out the Hamas battalions in Rafah – that’s their last stronghold.”

Falk added that the Israeli destruction of Hamas is “in the best interest of the UK” and “the entire civilised world.”

According to analysis of government export data by Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), the UK has licensed arms worth over £574 million to Israel since 2008. In 2022 the government licensed the sale of military goods valued at £42 million, a contribution which Secretary of State for Defense Grant Shapps called “relatively small” compared to that of the US, which gives Israel $3.8 billion in military support per year.

In December, a letter from human rights organisations to the UK government calling for an immediate halt to British arms sales to Israel said that there is a “clear risk that arms and military equipment transferred to Israel might be used to facilitate or commit serious violations of international law, including attacks that may amount to war crimes.”

The UK provides approximately 15 per cent of the components in the F-35 stealth bomber aircraft “currently being used in the bombardment of Gaza,” according to the letter.

Falk said he believes that, despite calls to cancel the Rafah operation, Israel still has “very strong support in the United States and in the UK and many others to destroy Hamas”.

“The thing that should be on the plate right now is to free the hostages and to destroy Hamas capabilities so they can never attack us again. Our allies should stick by us. Prime Minister Sunak has been very, very supportive as have the majority of the British,” he added.

Falk also referred to Prince William’s recent — and unprecedented — call for a ceasefire.

“We also want an end to the fighting. That will happen after Hamas is destroyed. If we don’t destroy Hamas they will come to London, if they’re not there already.’’

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