Caabu condemns UK failure to impose arms ban with Israel
Caabu expresses its grave concerns about the government’s announcement following the findings of a review into UK arms sales to Israel.
On Tuesday 12 August the government announced:
“In the event of a resumption of significant hostilities, the government is concerned that it would not be able to clarify if the export licence criteria are being met. It would therefore suspend these licences as a precautionary step...the government’s concern is that it may not have sufficient information to determine whether the licence assessment criteria have been contravened, for example, whether a serious violation of international humanitarian law has occurred and whether equipment containing UK components has been used.”
Commenting on this, Caabu director Chris Doyle said:
“This is an extraordinary statement. It suggests that the UK government is fully satisfied that, up until now after around 2,000 Palestinian deaths in Gaza, Israeli armed forces have not violated international law or misused UK arms components. The overwhelming evidence, including from the United Nations, is that serious breaches of international law have occurred and in such circumstances all such licenses should have been suspended. Moreover, given Israel’s record of violating international law there should be a complete ban of all arms trade in both directions with Israel. This smacks at a very grubby domestic political compromise rather than a genuine attempt to uphold international law.”
Notes to editors:
1) For more information or interviews contact Chris Doyle, on + 44207 832 1321 or +447968 040281.
2) Caabu press release 17 July 2013: Caabu alarmed at scale of UK arms exports to countries with poor human rights records.
3) Caabu organised a major advert in a British newspaper on 3 March 2011 signed by major cultural, academic and political figures calling on David Cameron to back democracy in the Middle East and stop selling weapons to regimes that use them for internal repression.
4) Caabu’s update on the situation in Gaza.