‘Position Unchanged’  – UK Will Not Halt Arms Sales to Israel

British Foreign Secretary David Cameron. (Photo: Chatham House, via Wikimedia Commons)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“The latest assessment leaves our position on export licences unchanged. This is consistent with the advice that I and other ministers have received and as ever we will keep the position under review.”

Despite mounting pressure, the UK’s Foreign Secretary David Cameron has stated that his government’s position on arms sales to Israel remains “unchanged”.

“I have now reviewed the most recent advice about the situation in Gaza and Israel’s conduct of their military campaign,” Cameron said at a joint press conference with his US counterpart, Antony Blinken, on Tuesday.

Cameron added that the “latest assessment leaves our position on export licences unchanged. This is consistent with the advice that I and other ministers have received and as ever we will keep the position under review.”

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Britain supplied 42 million pounds ($53 million) of arms to Israel in 2022, according to The Guardian.

Cameron also said, “So far, no like-minded countries have taken the decision to suspend existing arms export licences to Israel and I’d add that Israel remains a vital defense and security partner to the UK.”

‘Complicit in Genocide’

Last week, more than 600 lawyers, academics and retired senior judges called on the British government to suspend arms provisions to the Israeli government.

In a 17-page letter, the signatories urged the suspension “of provision of weapons and weapons systems” to the Israeli government, stating “The provision of military assistance and material to Israel may render the UK complicit in genocide as well as serious breaches of IHL (International Humanitarian Law). Customary international law recognises the concept of ‘aiding and assisting’ an international wrongful act.”

In addition, 130 British parliamentarians signed a letter last month urging the British government to ban arms sales to Israel.

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Link to WCK Attack

Earlier this month, the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT) said the UK government and arms industry were complicit in Israel’s killing of the World Central Kitchen aid workers, among them three British citizens.

“The workers were killed by a strike from a Hermes 450 drone manufactured by Elbit Systems. The Hermes 450 is powered by a UK-made R902(W) Wankel engine, produced by Elbit subsidiary UAV Engines Limited in the UK,” CAAT said in a statement.

Since 2015, the UK has licensed £487m ($615 million) worth of weapons to Israel, the organization stressed. However, this does not include equipment exported via open licences.

“In particular, 15% of the value of every US-made F-35 combat aircraft, which Israel uses to bomb Gaza, is made in the UK, exports for which are covered by an open licence with no limit on the quantity or value of exports,” CAAT said.

The organization conservatively estimates that the work on the 36 F-35s exported to Israel up to 2023 has been worth at least £368m to the UK arms industry.

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Meanwhile, Cameron also emphasized in the press briefing that “we continue to have grave concerns around the humanitarian access issue in Gaza, both for the period that was assessed and subsequently.”

“We’ve seen a welcome increase in trucks with perhaps as many as 400 going in yesterday, the highest since October 7, and of course public commitments from Israel to flood Gaza with aid. These now need to be turned into reality.”

Over 33,300 Killed

Currently on trial before the International Court of Justice for genocide against Palestinians, Israel has been waging a devastating war on Gaza since October 7.

According to Gaza’s Ministry of Health, 33,360 Palestinians have been killed, and 75,993 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in the enclave.

Moreover, at least 7,000 people are unaccounted for, presumed dead under the rubble of their homes throughout the Strip.

Palestinian and international organizations say that the majority of those killed and wounded are women and children.

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The Israeli war has resulted in an acute famine, mostly in northern Gaza, resulting in the death of many Palestinians, mostly children.

The Israeli aggression has also resulted in the forceful displacement of nearly two million people from all over the Gaza Strip, with the vast majority of the displaced forced into the densely crowded southern city of Rafah near the border with Egypt – in what has become Palestine’s largest mass exodus since the 1948 Nakba.

Israel says that 1,200 soldiers and civilians were killed during the Al-Aqsa Flood Operation on October 7. Israeli media published reports suggesting that many Israelis were killed on that day by ‘friendly fire’.

(The Palestine Chronicle)

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  1. Maybe it’s time for some country to bring charges of deliberate complicity in genocide against the UK government. Perhaps the West Indies could do it – they’ve got plenty of reason to, and it would update their colonialism and slavery charges against the UK. Ie, the same indifference to human life and suffering is today being shown by this current UK govt, with its blind support of Israel’s genocide agaisnt the residents of Gaza.

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