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Israel accused of selling military equipment to Burma during 'ethnic cleansing' of Rohingya Muslims

Published: October 26, 2017
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Source: The Independent

 
 
Israel has been accused of continuing to sell military equipment to the Burmese military even as it faced accusations of war crimes against minority Rohingya Muslims.

Pictures on the Burmese Navy's Facebook page "welcome" two Israeli-made gunboats to the military fleet.

"Welcome to the Myanmar Navy," the caption says. "The Super-Dvora MK III is moving forward at 45 knots on Myanmar waters." 

The gunboats feature a remote weapons station which would allow the military to mount of heavy machine gun or 30mm cannon. 

The Israeli Foreign Ministry has denied media reports it has sold advanced weapons to Burma and categorically rejected any "alleged involvement in the tragedy in the Rakhine region."

More than 600,000 Rohingya Muslims have fled Buddhist-majority Burma to Bangladesh since a military crackdown launched in late August. The United Nations denounced it as a textbook example of ethnic cleansing.

Drone footage shows thousands of Rohingya Muslims fleeing Burma

According to Haaretz, the Ramta division of Israeli Aerospace Industries, which manufactures the Super Dvora, is meant to provide at least two more boats to the Burmese military. 

The remote weapons station on the boat is made by Elbit Systems, the paper said, adding that the two remaining vessels could be built in Burma with Israeli assistance. 

The total value of the arms deal is estimated to be tens of millions of dollars, Haaretz said, citing sources in the Israeli weapons industry.

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