The UK has cancelled five export licences for equipment to the Israeli Navy based on the country’s actions during Operation Cast Lead in Gaza earlier this year.

It is believed that five of the 35 contracts for naval equipment, related to the Saar 4.5 gunboat, have been cancelled.

The 22-day operation, aimed at stopping rocket fire directed at Israel’s southern towns, which ended on 18 January, was widely condemned as disproportionate. Concerns have also been raised by Amnesty International and members of the UK Parliament that British-made equipment has been used illegally in Gaza

The British Foreign Office said that after taking into account what has happened in the recent conflict, the UK will not grant export licenses where there is a clear risk that arms will be used for external aggression or internal repression.

Israel has said that its troops complied fully with international law during missions