Israel sold Myanmar patrol boats despite Rohingya ethnic cleansing evidence

Israel sold Myanmar patrol boats despite Rohingya ethnic cleansing evidence
Israel approved the sale of patrol boats to the Myanmar navy amid evidence and reports the armed forces were allegedly responsible for 'ethnic cleansing'.
2 min read
23 October, 2017
Boats similar to the Super Dvora Mark III were allegedly used to kill civilians [Wikimedia]
Israel delivered tens of millions of dollars worth of arms to the Myanmar navy, despite ongoing allegations of genocide.

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) delivered six patrol boats to Myanmar in April 2017, having signed a deal amid warnings of alleged ethnic cleansing against the country's Rohingya Muslim population.

The news comes amid reports that similar boats were used to sink vessels filled with refugees fleeing state violence.

The Super Dvora Mk III patrol boats are fitted with heavy machine guns or 30 mm cannon and can travel up to 75km per hour.

Tel Aviv announced last month that it would continue to sell weapons to Myanmar, following a High Court petition to stop the arms trade. The court's judgement has been classified by the government.

By contrast, the European Union and United States announced last week they were considering cutting off contact with Myanmar's military, following years of training programs.

The United States Secretary of State said his government was holding the Myanmar government and army responsible for the Rohingya refugee crisis.

"We're extraordinarily concerned by what is happening with Rohingya in Burma," Rex Tillerson said.

Since August, more than half a million civilians have fled alleged state-sponsored violence against civilians.

A UN report described in February how the Myanmar army and police used systematic violence, including rape and torture, against Muslim civilians.

Yet despite evidence coming out of Myanmar, IAI has agreed to continue its shipbuilding contract with the Myanmar navy. According to Haaretz, a Myanmar naval commander visited Israel in the past year, the second visit in five years.

The Myanmar navy also has working relationships with Pakistan, India, China and Russia.