Next UK government must end arms sales to Israel

The next Prime Minister must end UK complicity in Gaza's suffering.

The next UK government must immediately end all arms sales to Israel and end UK complicity in the genocide in Gaza, say the Scottish Greens.

The party’s manifesto calls for an end to all arms sales to Israel and other human rights abusers, and for the UK government to recognise the right of the Palestinian people to self determination.

UK arms export criteria says a weapon can not be sold if there is a "clear risk" that it "might" be used in a serious breach of International Humanitarian Law.

UK government statistics, compiled by Campaign Against Arms Trade, show that in the last 10 years, the UK has licensed at least £500 million worth of arms to Israel.

Speaking ahead of an event in central Edinburgh, the party’s Co-leader Lorna Slater said: “For the last eight months the Tories have armed and supported the brutal bombardment of Gaza. The human cost has been catastrophic.

“The arms sales and political support the Tories have offered has actively fuelled and enabled the destruction, which has killed tens of thousands of people and led the International Court of Justice to open genocide investigations.

“Labour hasn’t been any better. They began by supporting Israel’s right to collectively punish the people of Gaza, cutting off water, food and electricity. Now they say they want a ceasefire, but they have hidden behind the Tories and refused to back calls for a weapons embargo.

“I don’t understand how anybody could look at the images and the footage coming from Gaza and think that it is ok to continue to arm and support the war.

“With the stakes so high, and with a new government looking more likely by the day, we have an opportunity for change. If Keir Starmer is elected to Downing Street he must be bold and take a stand for humanity and human rights by immediately halting the sale of weapons.”

Ms Slater added: "The way a government acts on the world stage tells us a lot about its values. The Scottish Greens would end all arms sales to human rights abusers, increase humanitarian aid and end the cruelty of the hostile environment that has been inflicted on refugees and migrant communities."

From the Scottish Greens manifesto

The Scottish Greens recognise the right of self-determination for the people of Palestine and call on the international community to work collectively to secure an immediate ceasefire, the end of Israel’s assault on Gaza and the escalating campaign of ethnic cleansing in the West Bank and Jerusalem; the withdrawal of Israeli settlements and military forces from illegally occupied Palestinian land; and to facilitate a genuine peace process with the objective of securing a just outcome which allows all those who live in the region to do so free of occupation, discrimination and threat. 

The UK Government has for decades provided Israel with military, political and economic support, resulting in a direct moral responsibility for the atrocities inflicted on the people of Gaza. The Government’s response must now be driven by the rulings of the International Court of Justice, which has called for immediate action to prevent a genocide of the Palestinian people in Gaza.