The latest information about Israeli military assets using Britain during its campaign may implicate U.K. ministers in crimes against humanity, Matt Kennard reports.
Israel and U.S. may be using American air bases in England to move weapons to the country being investigated for genocide by the World Court.
Israeli military aircraft have landed in Glasgow, Birmingham as well as RAF bases in Suffolk and Oxfordshire since Oct. 7.
Ministry of Defence tells Declassified: “We cannot comment on or provide information relating to foreign nations’ military aircraft movements or operations.”
U.S. Air Force flew huge C-17 military transport vehicle directly from Israeli military base to Turkey on Jan 23.
The Israeli military has landed six flights in Britain since it began its criminal bombing of Gaza in early October, it can be revealed.
The real number is likely to be higher, but the Ministry of Defence (MoD) refused to give any details about Israeli military flights in the UK.
The International Court of Justice (ICJ) recently said it was “plausible” Israel is committing genocide in Gaza. The latest information about Israeli military assets using Britain during its campaign may implicate U.K. ministers in crimes against humanity.
Declassified has discovered through flight records that Israeli Air Force (IAF) jets have taken off and arrived at four different airports in Britain.
The first Israeli flight we discovered departed from Glasgow Prestwick airport, southwest Scotland, on Nov. 18, although its arrival does not appear to have been registered.
The flight, numbered IAF680, took off from Scotland just after 1pm and landed in Beersheba, Israel, around five hours later.
No information is available about what type of military jet it was, and the MoD refused to provide any details. The website which Declassified uses to track flights says the Israeli military jet “is present on our blocked aircraft list.”
Beersheba is an Israeli city in the Negev desert which is home to the IAF’s Nevatim air base.
[Related: UK Has Flown 50 Spy Missions Over Gaza]
This base has been the central node the U.S. has used to deliver bombs and other weapons to Israel for its attack on Gaza. “The first plane carrying U.S. armaments has since arrived at the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel this evening,” the Israeli military tweeted on Oct. 11.
The first plane carrying U.S. armaments has since arrived at the Nevatim Airbase in southern Israel this evening.
The cooperation between our militaries is a key part of ensuring regional security and stability in times of war.
— Israel Defense Forces (@IDF) October 11, 2023
An Israeli military flight then flew from Birmingham Airport to Nevatim again on Dec. 2. The type of aircraft was again withheld, but independent photos of the vehicle show it was a Boeing 707-300C.
This 707 is a freighter and transport aircraft that can carry up to 189 passengers.
We understand the plane should have landed at RAF Mildenhall, the U.S. Air Force base in Suffolk, but was diverted.
Over the next fortnight, two Israeli military aircraft then departed from Mildenhall, which is home to 4,245 U.S. military personnel, the second largest concentration of American troops in Britain.
The first of these IAF flights went from Mildenhall to Nevatim on Dec. 7, but the aircraft type was again not disclosed. Then an IAF Boeing 707-300 flew from Mildenhall to Dover, a U.S. Air Force base in Delaware on Dec. 13.
The Dover base hosts the 436th Airlift Wing and is the Department of Defense’s busiest and largest air freight terminal. The first shipment of U.S. weapons to Israel left Dover base on Oct. 10.
In that transfer, a commercial air cargo group with planes in Israel sent an airliner from Tel Aviv and upon landing in Dover was packed with “advanced weaponry” before heading back to Nevatim.
‘We Cannot Comment’
On Christmas Day, an Israeli military flight arrived from Nevatim at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire, the RAF’s principal operating base located west of London. The aircraft type was again not disclosed. The following day the same aircraft flew from Brize Norton to Dover in the U.S.
It is unclear what these Israeli military jets landing and taking off from Britain have been carrying.
When asked, an MoD spokesperson told Declassified: “It is standard practice to routinely authorise requests for limited numbers of allies and partners to access the U.K.’s air bases.”
They added: “We cannot comment on or provide information relating to foreign nations’ military aircraft movements or operations.”
Declassified has also found that a U.S. Air Force C-17 flew from Nevatim Airbase to Gazipasa Airport in southern Turkey on Jan. 23.
After Turkey, it went to Cyprus then to Ramstein air base in Germany before finally landing at the Dover base on the east coast of the U.S.
The U.S. Department of Defense refused to disclose to Declassified what was on the flight, but Nevatim and Dover have been central nodes in the transfer of U.S. munitions to Israel since the Gaza bombing began.
The C-17 is capable of transporting 134 personnel and many types of military equipment, including Abrams tanks and Black Hawk helicopters. The U.S. military notes that the C-17’s role is to “rapidly project and sustain an effective combat force close to a potential battle area.”
Matt Kennard is chief investigator at Declassified UK. He was a fellow and then director at the Centre for Investigative Journalism in London. Follow him on Twitter @kennardmatt
This article is from Declassified UK.