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13 July, 2024
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MPs from 12 countries halt arms to Israel over Gaza assault

Over 200 lawmakers demand ban on arms sales to Israel


More than 200 Members of Parliament (MPs) from a dozen countries are urging their governments to halt arms sales to Israel. Organized by Progressive International, the move aims to address what they see as Israel's serious violations of international law, particularly in its recent actions in Gaza.

According to a report on The Guardian, the letter, a collaborative effort, seeks to translate public outrage over the Palestinian deaths in Gaza—estimated at 30,000—into concrete action within national parliaments. Despite calls for an immediate ceasefire, many governments have not responded adequately.

The signatories, comprising current and former political leaders, argue that governments supplying arms to Israel could face legal challenges due to the extensive destruction in Gaza, which they believe goes beyond the scope of self-defense.

Prominent figures among the signatories include Jeremy Corbyn, Larissa Waters, Manuel Bompard, Peter Mertens, and Rashida Tlaib, among others. The initiative has garnered support from Jean-Luc Mélenchon, Pablo Bustinduy, and Jignesh Mevani.

In the UK alone, 39 parliamentarians from various parties have signed the letter, emphasizing the urgent need for an arms embargo on Israel.

The MPs contend that recent rulings, including one from UN experts, underscore the legal imperative for an arms embargo. The International Court of Justice (ICJ) is currently examining Israel's compliance with humanitarian laws, following a case brought by South Africa.

However, enforcement mechanisms remain limited, with the US obstructing efforts to translate ICJ rulings into UN resolutions. Meanwhile, attempts to condemn Israeli actions at the UN have faced hurdles, with the US blocking resolutions amid uncertainties surrounding events in Gaza.

The UK's stance on the matter remains ambiguous, although it has expressed concern over civilian casualties in Gaza. In response to pressure, the White House has given Israel a deadline to adhere to international humanitarian laws regarding arms usage.

Critics urge transparency in arms export decisions, especially concerning potential violations of international law. Despite legal challenges, MPs continue to demand clarity on the government's decision-making process regarding arms sales.

The debate underscores the complexities of international law and the moral obligations of governments in arms trade policies.

[With information sourced from The Guardian]

Cyprus  |  Israel  |  UK  |  UN  |  Gaza  |  politics

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