108 MPs and 27 Peers call for UK Government to halt arms sales to Israel

A letter coordinated by Muslim MP for Coventry South, Zarah Sultana, which was co-signed by over 108 MPs and 27 members of the House of Lords was sent to the government on Thursday, demanding the cessation of all arms sales to Israel and the support of the UN demand for an immediate ceasefire.

Sent to the Foreign Secretary, Lord David Cameron and Business Secretary, Kemi Badenoch, the letter pressed for the UK government to acknowledge the findings of a recent UN report which found that a F16 fighter jet which contained substantial British parts and technology had played a major role in bombing British and other doctors stationed in the besieged Gaza Strip during the Israeli onslaught since October 2023. The letter references past suspensions of weapons sales during assaults in which civillans and medical personnel were victims. It added, that:

‘Today, the scale of violence committed by the Israeli military is vastly more deadly, but the UK government has failed to act’

The demands of the letter echoed those made by the UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights Defenders, Mary Lawlor, who last week published a statement which read:

‘There exist no moral arguments that can justify the continued sale of weapons to Israel by states that respect the principle of the universality of human rights,” said the UN special rapporteur on human rights defenders’

Lawlor argued that Israel has a record of using deadly weapons against innocent Palestinian civilians and that any claim of ‘self defense’ had long since been invalidated by the continued indiscriminate and disproportionate response.

There have been allegations presented to the International Court in the Hague, asserting that Israel has been deliberately targeting human rights defenders, journalists and health care workers. Doctors have reported that they are forced to remove any evidence of their status as medical operatives – such as the wearing of scrubs, prior to moving outside of the hospital, for fear of finding themselves the target of the military.  Lawlor went further to suggest that this is a ‘war on women and children’, who she said made up as much as 72% of the 32,000 Palestinians reported dead since the assault began on 7th October 2023. She also said that the assault was also a ‘war against humanitarian personnel’ as she cited the 162 UNWRA staff members who had been killed.

The spokesperson for the Campaign Against the Arms Trade, Kate Fallon, said:

‘Every day for almost six months, Palestinians have endured the most horrific consequences of this sanctioned impunity. Immediately suspending arms transfers to Israel is the only legally and morally coherent position for the UK government to take’

Despite, the successful passing of UN Resolution this week calling for a ceasefire, which was on this rare occasion not vetoed by the US and which also and unusually had the support of the UK, and despite the government receiving warnings by its own Foreign Office, that the UK could find itself complicit in genocide due to arms sales, there have been no moves to introduce a ban on sales which would compromise sales to Israel from British firms worth tens of millions of pounds each year.


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