Israeli Army training, arming Myanmar Army deployed against Rohingya Muslims

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Israeli Army training, arming Myanmar Army deployed against Rohingya Muslims

Israeli arms companies such as TAR Ideal Concepts have been involved in training Burmese special forces who are currently in the Rakhine state where most of the violence has taken place. Images previously posted on the arms company's website showed its staff instructing members of the Burmese special forces on combat tactics and how to use specific weapons. 

Petition to ban arms exports to Myanmar 

In September, the Israeli High Court of Justice is expected to hear a petition, launched by activists, urging the Israeli government to stop arms exports to Myanmar. 

The US and EU have an arms embargo against Myanmar. 

Eitay Mack, the lawyer presenting the petition, told Middle East Eye that Israel has "no control" over its arms exports once they are sent overseas. 

“Israel has no control of what's happening with its weapons once it sends its weapons to Burma,” said Mack, an Israeli human rights lawyer based in Tel Aviv. 

“But from TAR Ideal’s website, we know that they are arming and training Burmese special forces who are operating in the Rakhine state right now."

The petition was submitted in January, following visits by Israeli officials to Myanmar to discuss arms deals, and vice versa.

After the petition was submitted, the Israeli defence ministry in March said the court had no jurisdiction over the issue and claimed that arms sales to Myanmar were "clearly diplomatic".

Israel has shared a strong relationship with Myanmar and maintained trade relations over the years. These relations existed before the military junta stepped down. 

Weapons used against the Palestinians are being sold as 'field-tested' to some of the worst regimes on the planet

- Ofer Neiman, human rights activist

Ofer Neiman, an Israeli human rights activist, said Israel's relationship with Myanmar is linked to its ongoing occupation of Palestinian territory in the West Bank.  

"Successive Israeli governments have been selling arms to the military dictatorship in Burma for years," Neiman told MEE.

"This policy is strongly related to Israel's oppression and dispossession of the Palestinian people. Weapons used against the Palestinians are being sold as 'field-tested' to some of the worst regimes on the planet."

Myanmar's military chief on Friday defended the clearing of villages, attempting to justify it as "unfinished business" dating back to World War Two. 

Penny Green, an academic who has documented alleged war crimes perpetrated against the Rohingya people, told MEE that many governments "have lent their support to the current genocide".