UK govt lawyers warn Isreal is breaking international law 


The British government has allegedly received advice from its lawyers that Isreal is breaking international law, according to the Guardian

The lawyers allegedly gave legal advice that Isreal is breaking international humanitarian laws on the Gaza strip, but the government has failed to make it public according to a recording obtained on the 30th of March by the Observer newspaper, a sister paper to the Guardian.

Since Hamas launched an attack on Israel on October 7th, Israeli military attacks on Gaza have resulted in the death of more than 32,000 people, an amount that the Pentagon chief has described as “far too high”. The majority of the victims are mostly women and children, according to local health authorities.

READ: Hamas chief calls for ceasefire, Israel rejects 

British barrister and judge, Geoffrey Nice, who was the lead prosecutor at former Serbian President Slobodan Milosevic’s trial from 2002 to 2006, stated that “Countries supplying arms to Israel may now be complicit in criminal warfare. The public should be told what the advice says.”

British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak and Foreign Secretary David Cameron are now under pressure as such legal advice would mean the UK must suspend all arms deals with Israel immediately.  

If they didn’t, the UK would be in breach of international law itself for aiding and abetting war crimes by a country it was exporting arms to, according to legal experts. 

 In 2022, The UK’s arms exports to Israel amounted to £42m, a figure described as “relatively small” by defence secretary Grant Shapps. 

 READ: EU chief calls on US to cut arms supplies to Israel 

During a foreign affairs committee in January, Cameron was pressed on whether he had seen such legal advice that suggested Israel has breached international law. Cameron replied, “I cannot recall every single bit of paper that has been put in front of me, I don’t want to answer that question.” 

“If you’re asking me, am I worried that Israel has taken action that might be in breach of international law? Yes, of course, I’m worried about that, and that’s why I consult the Foreign Office lawyers when giving this advice on arms exports,” he said.

Alicia Kearns, the Chair of the House of Commons Foreign Affairs Select Committee, said at a Conservative Party fundraiser on March 13th that both she and Cameron strongly believed in Israel’s right to defend itself. “But the right to self-defence has a limit in law. It is not limitless,” she added, suggesting that Israel’s actions put its and the UK’s long-term security at risk.

She stated, “Transparency at this point is paramount, not least to uphold the international rules-based order.”

Kerns later told the Guardian that she believes the government has concluded that Israel is not demonstrating a commitment to international humanitarian law, “which is the legal determination it has to make.”

 The Guardian. 


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