Ireland will continue to buy weapons from Israel, according to Minister for Justice Alan Shatter.

The Fine Gael Minister has told the Irish parliament that the policy will continue despite Israel’s policy on Gaza.

The Dublin government has spent over $20million on Israeli weapons in recent years according to a report in the Sunday Independent newspaper.

The UN has claimed that Israel was guilty of war crimes during previous invasions of Gaza.

Israeli secret service agents have also been accused of using Irish passports during murders and political assassinations.

But Shatter has told Sinn Fein deputy Sean Crowe in the Irish parliament that the principle of competitive tendering for Government contracts has to be used by the Department of Defence for the acquisition of defensive equipment.

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The paper reports that he told Sean Crowe of Sinn Fein that central to the procedures was the requirement to allow fair competition between suppliers after tenders are advertised on the e-tenders website or the European Defence Agency's electronic bulletin board.

Shatter said: “Such tender competitions are open to any individual company or country in accordance with the terms of all UN, OSCE, and EU arms embargos or restrictions.

“There are no such restrictions or embargoes in place on Israel or Israeli companies.”

The report adds that the Israeli arms industry has traded successfully with Ireland in recent years.

One Haifa based company, Elbit Systems Ltd, secured a multi-million euro contract to supply surveillance equipment for a new fleet of RG-32M armoured vehicles built in South Africa.

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The Irish Army has also purchased a small fleet of Israeli Orbiter unmanned aerial vehicles or spy planes.

Ireland’s elite special forces unit uses the Israeli developed Cornershot which allows a weapon to be fired around corners.

However, the paper says that after the use of false Irish passports by an assassination squad from Mossad, Israel lost out on multi-million euro contracts to supply more than 20 million bullets to the Defence Forces.

The tender instead went to Belgium and other countries.