Palestinian NGO tells UK to stop arms sales to Israel

Palestinian NGO tells UK to stop arms sales to Israel
The Palestinian rights group Al-Haa has threatened legal action against the UK unless it stops exporting arms to Israel, which it says has violated international law in Gaza.
2 min read
Shawan Jabarin is the director of Al-Haq [Getty]

A Palestinian rights group has threatened legal action against Britain unless it revokes all arms export licences to Israel, which it says has violated international law with its bombardment of the Gaza Strip.

West Bank-based Al-Haq, which documents alleged rights violations by Israel and the Western-backed Palestinian Authority, asked in a letter sent on Monday to trade minister Kemi Badenoch for Britain to confirm that no British "weapons are being used in Israel/Palestine or against Palestinians."

Or, Britain should "immediately suspend and/or revoke all extant licences to Israel and undertake not to grant any further licences until Israel ceases to violate international law".

Israel has bombarded the Gaza Strip with air strikes that have killed about 3,000 Palestinians, and driven around half of the 2.3 million Gazans from their homes.

If it does not receive a full response by Oct. 30, Al-Haq's lawyers said the group will consider taking legal action against Britain for unlawfully licensing arms exports that could be used in breach of international law.

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The group said there is "clear evidence that Israel has repeatedly and gravely breached international law in these last 10 days alone" since the Hamas assault on Israel.

A Department for Business and Trade spokesperson said: "At present there are no immediate plans to stop arms export licences to Israel.

"All export licences are kept under continual review, with applications assessed on a case-by-case basis against strict criteria."

The Israeli embassy in London did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) – which brought an unsuccessful case against Britain over allowing arms exports to Saudi Arabia – on Tuesday also called for the immediate suspension of all licences for arms exports to Israel.