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Calls for UK to ensure arms supplies to Israel are used lawfully

An Israeli soldier fires tear gas at Palestinians in the West Bank on 15 May 2017 [Mamoun Wazwaz/Anadolu Agency]

The UK government must ensure arms it provides to Israel and trade ties with the country are not used to support unlawful actions against Palestinians by Tel Aviv, members of parliament, trade unionists, former ministers and a large number well known figures have said.

In an open letter publish in the Guardian newspaper, the signatories said: “The silence of the prime minister and the foreign secretary on Israel’s premeditated killings is deafening.”

The officials, who included members of European parliament and cultural and political figures, also highlighted that some 33 Palestinians have been killed by Israeli occupation forces in the besieged Gaza Strip over the past three weeks since the launch of the “Great March of Return”.

“Moreover, the UK government continues to approve arms exports to Israel despite its own guidelines prohibiting any sales of weapons that risk being used in violation of international law,” the letters continues.

Chair of the Labour Friends of Palestine and the Middle East, Grahame Morris MP, former secretary of state for international development, Clare Short, member of the House of Lords, Jenny Tonge, signed the open letter, adding:

We call on the government to condemn publicly Israel’s actions; to support an immediate UN investigation into the killings; and to ensure UK arms, finance and trade are not used to support Israel’s unlawful actions.

“The British government must fulfil its responsibilities to hold Israel accountable and to bring about the end of Israel’s unlawful siege and the military occupation of Gaza, East Jerusalem and the West Bank.”

Read: Israel using ‘baseless legal interpretations’ to justify ‘lethal force’ against protesters

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