The British government approved arms sales to Israel worth over $17 million in 2018 when Israeli soldiers were accused of intentionally firing on and murdering Palestinian protestors at the Gaza border, reports Anadolu Agency.

The information released by the Department of International Trade (DIT) and compiled by the Campaign Against the Arms Trade (CAAT) shows that licenses were issued for the sale of weapons that included parts for assault rifles, ammunition and other arms that would be used against Palestinian demonstrations.

Last year on May 18, an arms sale worth more than $125,000 was approved by the government just four days after 68 Palestinians were shot by Israeli soldiers.

Ironically, the export was approved the same week, when then-Prime Minister Theresa May described killings as “extremely concerning”.

The message it sends is that no matter what atrocities are inflicted on the Palestinian people, arms sales will continue,” said CAAT spokesman Andrew Smith. “If shooting on the border didn’t stop the arms sales if the bombardment in 2014 and 2008 did not stop them, what more will it take?” he asked.

Smith said that although it is not clear whether the UK-made weapons were used specifically on the protestors, it symbolizes the government’s priorities in choosing business over morality and ethics.  He said the government is also making highly probable that its weapons will be used against innocent Palestinians in the future.