Israeli soldiers patrol Huwara in the occupied West Bank, on March 20, 2023. — AFP 

An Indian company has decided to end a long-standing agreement to produce uniforms for the Israeli police, telling AFP on Friday that it had done so after reaching a “moral decision” in light of the conflict in Gaza.

Maryan Apparel in the southern state of Kerala said it had supplied around 100,000 uniforms to Israel’s police force for every year since 2015.

“It is a moral decision,” the company´s managing director Thomas Olickal told AFP.

Olickal said in a Wednesday statement that a strike on a hospital and the “loss of thousands of innocent lives” in the conflict had prompted the decision.

Israelis and Palestinians have traded blame for Tuesday’s deadly strike on the Ahli Arab hospital in Gaza City.

Global leaders have condemned the strike and protests have erupted across the Muslim world with stark disagreement over the toll and who is responsible.

Palestinian group Hamas accused Israel of hitting the hospital during its massive bombing campaign, and the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza has put the death toll at 471, though that number is contested.

Israel’s military has blamed a misfired rocket on another group, Islamic Jihad — a version of events backed by the United States, whose intelligence community has estimated between 100 and 300 people were killed.

Hamas militants stormed into Israel from the Gaza Strip on October 7, and killed at least 1,400 people, mostly civilians who were shot, mutilated or burnt to death on the first day of the raid, according to Israeli officials. 

Israel says around 1,500 Hamas fighters were killed in clashes before its army regained control of the area under attack.

At least 4,137 Palestinians, mainly civilians, have been killed across Gaza in relentless Israeli bombardments in retaliation for the attacks by Hamas, according to the latest toll from its health ministry in Gaza.

Olickal told AFP his firm will fulfill its existing commitments to Israel, which end in December but will not take new orders.

“We are okay resuming business with them after peace is restored,” added Olickal, who employs around 1,500 people at his firm.

The company has also supplied uniforms to the Philippine Army and to government officials in Saudi Arabia.

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