By Thomas Harding Defence Correspondent and Anil Dawar
Daily Telegraph (26/07/2006)
Britain has been used as a staging post for major shipments of bunker-busting bombs from America to Israel. The Israelis want the 5,000lb smart bombs to attack the bunkers being used by Hizbollah leaders in Lebanon.
Two chartered Airbus A310 cargo planes filled with GBU 28 laser-guided bombs landed at Prestwick airport, near Glasgow, for refuelling and crew rests after flying across the Atlantic at the weekend, defence sources confirmed. The airport has also been used by the CIA for rendition flights carrying terrorist suspects.
The Government’s agreement to the bomb flights was criticised last night by the Liberal Democrats.
“In light of disproportionate military attacks, the Government should take steps to suspend all arms transfers to Israel, whether directly from or through the UK,” said Michael Moore, the party’s foreign affairs spokesman.
President George W Bush appeared uncomfortable when he was asked if he regarded the simultaneous American provision of military support and humanitarian aid to Israel as contradictory. He said that America was honouring commitments to Israel made before the current crisis flared up.
A Foreign Office spokesman said: “We are looking at our approach to these flights.”
It has been reported that efforts to crush Hizbollah have been hindered by a lack of bombs capable of penetrating their command bunkers.