The UK government continues to evade questions about its role in training Israeli troops, after it was revealed in February that six IDF personnel were currently undergoing training programmes in Britain during the genocide in Gaza.

In a fresh set of questions posed to the Ministry of Defence, Alba MP Kenny MacAskill asked about the ranks and locations of the Israeli soldiers involved in the training. In a written response, Defence Minister Leo Docherty refused to answer, saying: “This information is being withheld in order to protect personal information and to avoid prejudicing relations between the United Kingdom and another State.”

Another question about the amount of British troops currently deployed to Israel received a similarly vague answer from the minister: “The UK has a number of Armed Forces personnel across the Middle East, working closely with partners to carry out defence engagement and to uphold regional stability. I cannot go into specifics for operational security purposes.”

However, the MoD did confirm that both countries last conducted joint air force exercises in 2021, and that Britain did not have a defence pact with Israel and was not obliged to defend the country.

CND General Secretary Kate Hudson said: 

“It’s absolutely shameful that Britain is diplomatically supporting, arming, training, and assisting Israel in military actions during its genocide against Palestinians in Gaza. Equally shameful is their attempt to obstruct efforts to reveal this complicity. It makes any mealy mouthed words about supporting a pause in the fighting or getting more aid into Gaza ring hollow. Britain is complicit in this genocide and willing to support Israel as it attempts to widen the conflict into a regional one – carrying real nuclear risks.”

Image Credit: Royal Air Force