UK blocks details on Israel military training in Britain

Six Israeli military personnel are being trained in Britain during the genocide in Gaza, but Grant Shapps’ Ministry of Defence is refusing to provide any details about what instruction they are receiving and where they’re based.

1 May 2024
An Israeli F-15 takes off from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire on Exercise Cobra Warrior in 2019. (Photo: John Lambeth / Alamy)

An Israeli F-15 takes off from RAF Waddington in Lincolnshire on Exercise Cobra Warrior in 2019. (Photo: John Lambeth / Alamy)

The UK’s Ministry of Defence (MoD) is refusing to give parliament any information about the Israeli military personnel currently being trained in Britain.

In February, the government admitted that “there are currently six Israeli Armed Forces officers posted in the UK”. It added that “Israel is represented by Armed Forces personnel in its Embassy in the UK, and as participants in UK defence-led training courses”.

Yet when asked this week by Alba MP Kenny MacAskill about the ranks of these personnel and where they are posted, defence minister Leo Docherty, Grant Shapps’ deputy, refused to say. 

He replied in a written answer to parliament: “This information is being withheld in order to protect personal information and to avoid prejudicing relations between the United Kingdom and another State”.

The MoD also refused to say how many British military personnel are currently stationed in Israel. 

Docherty again replied evasively, writing: “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.”


U.K. is training Israeli military in Britain


The UK government is clearly imposing a blackout on providing much information to the public about its support for Israel as it continues its mass attacks on Palestinians in Gaza.

Declassified has just shown the UK is also refusing to provide information about the Israeli military aircraft that have recently landed in Britain. 

The reason for the information blackout to the public and parliament is possibly to protect British ministers from being prosecuted for complicity in war crimes.

Limited info

Only limited information about British military support for Israel is being provided to elected MPs. In MacAskill’s latest batch of questions to the MoD, the latter said the Royal Air Force last conducted exercises with Israel’s air force in 2021. 

That exercise, known as Blue Flag, “was a multi-national flying exercise designed to test aircrew skills to their limits”, Docherty told parliament.

The training was held at Ovda air base near Eilat in southern Israel, and was the largest yet of a series of bi-annual exercises hosted by the Israeli Air Force.

It involved RAF Typhoon fighters practising with Israeli F35s and F16s – jets that are now being used to bomb Gaza.


Government imposes blackout on all information about Israeli military planes...


The MoD also confirmed that it has no treaty obligating it to defend Israel. This shows that the extensive British military support of Israel, including the RAF recently shooting down Iranian drones targeting Israel, has been voluntary.  

The government has continued, however, to refuse to disclose details of the secret military agreement it signed with Israel in December 2020, which it has rarely publicised and which the British media continues to ignore. 

“It is not possible to release the agreement as it is held at a higher classification”, Docherty told parliament.