Expressing deep concern over the British Government’s decision to continue to exporting arms and ammunition to Israel, the Euro-Mediterranean Human Rights Monitor (Euro-Med) wrote a letter to members of the British parliament, WAFA News reported.
The Geneva-based rights organization noted that in May of 2018, the United Kingdom earned £14 million in arms sales to Israel, while the Israeli regime was simultaneously using lethal force in response to the Great Return March protests in the Gaza Strip.
Addressed to Jeremy Hunt, MP, UK Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs, and Tom Tugendhat, MP, Chairman of the Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, the letter claims that the U.K. has not stopped the export of arms, despite knowing that the weapons sold may be used in war crimes or crimes against humanity. The letter went on to say that arms exporting countries are either unaware of the full consequences of the use of these weapons, or deliberately ignore the consequences.
Selin Dyson, Euro-Med’s media and communications officer, declared that arms sales to countries, like Israel, accused of war crimes should be prohibited. Furthermore, she declared that an arms embargo should be applied to Israel, citing the UN investigation published in February 2019, which proclaimed that Israeli soldiers may have committed war crimes in the context of the Great March of Return demonstrations.
Euro-Med’s letter to British parliamentarians calls attention to Article 2-4 of the 1945 Charter of the United Nations, which states ; ‘all Members shall refrain in their international relations from the threat or use of force against the territorial integrity or political independence of any state’. The only exception to the rule is in the case of self-defence from an armed attack, as stated in Article 51 of the Charter. Palestinian protestors at the Gaza/Israel border are fully unarmed, therefore Israel has no defence.
Euro-Med demanded that the British Government consider the recent ruling in the UK Court of Appeal, which concluded that the sale of arms to Saudi Arabia is ‘irrational and therefore unlawful’ in light of Saudi Arabia’s repeated violation of international humanitarian law during military operations in Yemen.
The letter Euro-Med stated that it believes that Israel’s use of British-made weapons, to shoot unarmed Palestinians in the occupied territories, necessitates an arms embargo.