Britain is providing training to Israeli military officers in the UK, the government has admitted.
“Israel is represented by Armed Forces personnel in its Embassy in the UK, and as participants in UK defence-led training courses”, defence minister James Heappey has told parliament.
“There are currently six Israeli Armed Forces officers posted in the UK”, he added, in response to a written question by Alba MP Kenny MacAskill.
The number of Palestinians killed by the Israeli military in Gaza is now believed to be over 28,000.
The UK government has admitted that nine Israeli military aircraft have landed in Britain since the Hamas attacks of 7 October. The Ministry of Defence (MoD) has refused to say what those planes are carrying or what they are doing.
The Royal Air Force has sent 48 military aircraft to Israel since it began bombing Gaza. Declassified has further found that Britain has conducted 65 spy missions over Gaza from its vast military and intelligence base on Cyprus.
Almost none of this extent of UK military support for Israel is being reported in the British national media.
The MoD’s answer to parliament did not say which courses Israeli armed forces are currently attending in Britain.
Last year the MoD admitted its training of Israeli military personnel included defence medical training, “organisational design and concepts” and “defence education”.
It has refused to publish the military agreement it signed with Israel in 2020. But it said the accord “enshrines ongoing joint training and exercises” contributing to “strengthening military ties”.
Military training and joint exercises have been a key part of the deepening relationship between the two countries’ armed forces in recent years.
In 2019, the Israel air force undertook its first-ever deployment of fighter jets to Britain. Israeli F-15 warplanes took part in a joint combat exercise with the RAF, as well as aircraft from the German and Italian air forces.
Such warplanes have been ruthlessly bombing Gaza for several months.
The UK is also believed to have military officers stationed in Israel, though details are unclear.
In 2022, the MoD said it had four military personnel in Israel based in the British embassy in Tel Aviv. They were said to “carry out key activities in Defence Engagement and Diplomacy” but not military training.
However, “periodically additional UK personnel visit Israel for training, exercises and engagement purposes”, it added