The sale of weapons to Israel and other countries in war is prohibited according to Norwegian law. Yet Norwegian arm producing companies, partly owned by the state of Norway, sell weapons to Israel through foreign companies. Thus Norwegian weapons may have ended up affecting innocent people in Gaza.
Photo illustration: Norway is a major exporter of weapons, and sells weapons and defense equipment to countries all over the world.
The Gaza War has affected a whole world. Over 2000 people have been killed as a result of the violence during the last weeks, mostly civilians.
Norwegian law says that no Norwegian weapons shall be sold to countries at war, or where there is a threat of war. Even though, Norwegian produced weapons end up in Gaza. Why? Well, because the law only applies to weapons produced on Norwegian soil. Norwegian arm producing companies have factories in many countries in addition to Norway, such as Spain and the United States. Here, the control is weaker and consequently Norwegian arms end up in countries at war, nevertheless.
Norwegian Church Aid has for many years worked for the Norwegian authorities to regulate exports, also in Norwegian factories abroad. Firstly, the state should immediately practice active ownership of these companies and increase and enhance their export practices abroad. Secondly, the state should look into the possibilities of putting in place an extra territorial legislation on the export control field so that Norwegian law and regulations also apply to Norwegians and Norwegian based companies abroad, provided this does not conflict with the country's own laws.