‘Stop the Genocide!’ – Protesters Demand UK Govt Halt Arms Sales to Israel

Thousands of people took part in a protest in London calling for a ceasefire in Gaza. (Photo: via @alihadi68 TW page)

By Palestine Chronicle Staff  

“Today our message once more is for a ceasefire to end Israel’s genocide, but we are ramping up our demand to stop arming Israel, for a ban on arms sales to Israel.”

Tens of thousands of protesters gathered in London on Saturday as part of a nationwide day of action demanding that the UK government stop arming Israel and call for a permanent ceasefire in the besieged Gaza Strip.

“Today, people are protesting, they’re rallying, they’re marching, in Bristol, in Cardiff,… even on the isle of Orkney, across the land people are coming out to say to the Palestinian people ‘we see you, we hear you, we stand in solidarity with you’,” Director of the Palestine Solidarity Group, Ben Jamal, said in a video post on X.

He added: “Today our message once more is for a ceasefire to end Israel’s genocide, but we are ramping up our demand to stop arming Israel, for a ban on arms sales to Israel.”

According to the PSC, “over 80,000 people” participated in the march from central Russell Square to Parliament Square.

“Free Palestine” and “Stop the Genocide” were among the slogans chanted by the protesters.

‘Not in Our Name’

Many Jewish protesters from various groups participated in the march to say “not in our name,” the Anadolu news agency reported.

Along the route, a small group of pro-Israeli protesters also staged a demonstration, and tried to provoke the pro-Palestine demonstrators, the report said. However, police moved them away from the route.

One of the protesters told Anadolu that “Israel has been occupying so many years, and killed so many people,” and that the international community was not doing enough.

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

“So the only way we can do is to make our voices heard,” the protester, who wished to be identified as only Steve, added.

Asked about the UK’s arms supply to Israel, he said it “absolutely” makes the country complicit.

“Just give Palestine their land back to their hand in the beginning,” he asserted. “If we are contravening international law by supplying arms to Israel, that needs to stop.”

Another “Rally for Palestine” is planned for Wednesday outside the British Parliament in London.

Position ‘Unchanged’

Despite mounting pressure, the UK government remains adamant that its position on arms sales to Israel remains “unchanged”.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron said last week that he had “reviewed the most recent advice about the situation in Gaza and Israel’s conduct of their military campaign.”

Adding 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.”

‘Take Immediate Measures to End Genocide Risk’ – Over 600 Lawyers Urge UK Government 

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

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.”

Lawyers’ Demands

More than 600 lawyers, academics and retired senior judges have 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.

‘Totally Unacceptable’ – 130 Parliamentarians Urge UK Government to Ban Arms Sales to Israel

Over 33,600 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, 33,686 Palestinians have been killed, and 76,309 wounded in Israel’s ongoing genocide in Gaza starting on October 7.

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’.

(PC, Anadolu)

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