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End the UK-Israel arms trade: Email your MP

 

Armed violence against Palestinians is at the heart of Israel’s occupation and apartheid regime, and the UK is complicit through its arms trade with Israel. 

In May 2021, Israel’s warplanes rained terror down on densely populated residential areas in the Gaza Strip, resulting in the deaths of 260 Palestinians, over a quarter of them children. Inside Israel, and in the West Bank, Palestinians protesting occupation, forced displacement, and ethnic cleansing were met with live fire, rubber-coated steel bullets, stun grenades, tear gas, and skunk water. 

Although the bombings are no longer making headlines, the violence continues. 

Israeli armed forces accompany the bulldozers destroying Palestinian homes. Palestinians protesting land theft and rights violations face arbitrary arrest, assault, injury, and even death at the hands of Israeli armed forces. 

This systematic violence is made possible by the complicity of governments around the world. The UK government continues to approve exports of UK-made weapons and military technologies sold to and used by Israeli armed forces. The UK also holds joint trainings with Israeli military forces and welcomes Israeli arms companies to set up shop right here in the UK.  

As the bombs fell in May, hundreds of thousands of people took to the streets, and wrote to their MPs, to demand an end to the deadly UK-Israel arms trade. The pressure is growing. Now, Richard Burgon MP has introduced a new piece of legislation, the Israel Arms Trade (Prohibition) Bill, to prohibit the sale of arms to Israel and the purchase of arms from Israel. 

Please contact your MP today and ask them to support the Israel Arms Trade (Prohibition) Bill, by signing EDM 300 and/or by writing to Richard Burgon MP to indicate their support. 

More info

Background info

The UK government continues to approve arms sales to Israel, in defiance of its own export guidelines, while its imports of Israel's 'combat-proven' military hardware help Israel benefit from unlawful practices.

UK government rules are supposed to prevent arms sales if…

  • use would be inconsistent with the UK’s obligations under the United Nations Arms Trade Treaty;
  • there is a clear risk that the proposed export might be used for internal repression;
  • there is a clear risk that the items might be used in the commission of a serious violation of international humanitarian law;
  • the exports would provoke or prolong armed conflicts or aggravate existing tensions or conflicts in the country of final destination;
  • there is a risk that the intended recipient would use the proposed export aggressively against another country, or to assert by force a territorial claim;

Such actions and violations are at the core of Israel’s military occupation regime. That means that if the government’s own export guidelines were properly applied, the result would be a de facto embargo on arms exports to Israel.

At the same time, the UK imports Israeli military hardware and components and also provides training, in the UK, for Israeli military personnel.

Israeli military and industry sources openly attribute the success of Israeli exports to the weapons and technologies being ‘combat proven.’

This means that when the UK imports Israeli arms, it is helping Israel benefit from unlawful practices.

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