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UK may freeze arms exports if Israel attacks Gaza

UK may freeze arms exports if Israel attacks Gaza

The UK government will consider suspending arms export licenses to Israel if Benjamin Netanyahu launches a ground attack on the Palestinian town of Rafah in southern Gaza.

As the humanitarian situation in Gaza worsens, diplomatic pressure is mounting on the UK to follow other countries in ending arms exports to Israel.

While no decision has been taken on suspending arms export licenses, ministry sources said the UK has the ability to respond quickly if legal advice tells ministers that Israel is violating international humanitarian law.

The UK joined other allies in pressuring Israel to avoid a ground attack on Rafah. In a letter to the Foreign Affairs Committee on Arms Export Controls to Israel published on Tuesday, Foreign Secretary David Cameron said he could not see how the attack on Rafah could continue without harming civilians and destroying homes.

In the House of Commons, UK Foreign Secretary Andrew Mitchell insisted the attack on Rafah represented a red line for the UK government, telling MPs on Wednesday that the UK was advising the Israeli government not to launch an attack that could have “disastrous consequences”. .

At a meeting on the arms trade deal in Geneva on Wednesday, UK officials were accused by Palestinian diplomats of violating the deal by refusing to cancel arms sales after the International Court of Justice ruled that Israel must ensure its forces do not engage in operations. Genocide against Palestinians in Gaza.

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Palestinian representative Nada Darbrush warned that “a ground incursion into Rafah would lead to carnage on a much larger scale than the atrocities we have seen in recent months.” You have to pretend you don't know the destruction.

British officials told the meeting: “We can respond quickly and flexibly to changing and fluid situations.”

An article of the treaty obliges states not to authorize transfers of conventional weapons if they know that these weapons will be used to commit genocide or crimes against humanity.

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