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Britain's Arms Sales To Israel Could Make It 'Complicit In War Crimes,' Warns UK-Based Charity

12.04.2024 17:57

'It is illegal, immoral and inconsistent for the UK to continue to sell arms to Israel,' says Oxfam’s chief impact officer.

UK-based charity Oxfam on Friday reiterated its call on the British government to stop arms shipments to Israel, warning that continued refusal to suspend it could make it a "complicit in war crimes."

"It is against international law to intentionally or recklessly attack civilians and civilian infrastructure – and British arms sold to Israel are potentially being used to commit such serious violations of international law. By refusing to stop selling these arms, the UK is complicit in the slaughter of civilians taking place daily in Gaza," the charity said in an open letter to the UK government.

"An immediate, unconditional and permanent ceasefire is vital to stop the death and destruction. Ending arms sales is a crucial step towards this," said the letter, with nearly 45,000 signatories, including dozens of celebrities.

In a statement, Aleema Shivji, Oxfam's chief impact officer, said: "It is illegal, immoral and inconsistent for the UK to continue to sell arms to Israel, when it is clear that UK-made weapons and components are being used in serious violation of international humanitarian law – and after it imposed restrictions in previous escalations of violence when the scale of death and destruction had been lower."

Touching on "unprecedented levels of bloodshed," that people in Gaza are facing, Shivji said that the UK must immediately suspend all arms exports including parts and components, otherwise "it risks being complicit in war crimes."

Israel has waged a military offensive on the Gaza Strip since an Oct. 7 cross-border attack by the Palestinian group Hamas which killed around 1,200 people.

More than 33,600 Palestinians have been killed in Gaza since the war began.

Israel has also imposed a crippling blockade on the seaside enclave, leaving its population, particularly residents of northern Gaza, on the verge of starvation.

The war has pushed 85% of Gaza's population into internal displacement amid acute shortages of food, clean water and medicine, while much of the enclave's infrastructure has been damaged or destroyed.

Israel stands accused of genocide at the International Court of Justice (ICJ), which has urged it to do more to prevent famine in Gaza. -

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