The UK must end complicity in genocide against Gaza

The UK is arming and supporting war crimes in Gaza.

The UK government must end its complicity in Israeli war crimes and atrocities against civilians in Gaza, say the Scottish Greens. The party has called for Downing Street to cease all military and political support for Israeli forces to avoid further complicity in the crimes of ethnic cleansing and genocide.

The call comes as the International Court of Justice prepares to hear a case brought by South Africa under the Genocide Convention. The application, supported by a growing number of other nations, was supported by an 84-page dossier that meticulously documents what it believes are Israel’s genocidal acts and the genocidal intent expressed in their actions and the language of Israeli leaders.

Over 20,000 Palestinians have been killed in the three month long bombardment, with thousands more missing. Multiple human rights organisations have accused Israel of using starvation as a method of war, and UN bodies have warned that hundreds of thousands of Palestinians in Gaza face “catastrophic” levels of food insecurity – essentially famine. 

UK government statistics, compiled by Campaign Against Arms Trade, show that in the last 10 years the UK has licensed at least £486 million worth of arms sales to Israel.

Scottish Greens external affairs spokesperson, Ross Greer MSP, said: “Israel’s bombardment and war against Gaza has killed thousands of Palestinian children and created a horrifying humanitarian crisis. According to UNICEF and Save The Children, on average ten children in Gaza lose one or both of their legs every day, many having to be amputated without anaesthetic. Israel has used food, water and electricity as weapons in its war, all within plain sight.

“Nobody can claim ignorance. Senior Israeli politicians have been genocidal in their language and open in their calls for ethnic cleansing. It is no accident that they have forced hundreds of thousands of people to flee their homes and then destroyed those neighbourhoods, making it impossible to return.

“One reason the killing has continued is because of the complicity of governments around the world, including the UK. Rishi Sunak has offered uncritical political and military support and given Israel a blank cheque for war crimes.

“Today’s hearing is historic, but it is also a moral travesty that the crisis has been allowed to reach this level. The world has watched while Israel has committed the most heinous war crimes. We have a moral responsibility to do all we can to end the killing and ensure a long-term peace and an end to their illegal occupation of Palestine.”

In response to a proposal from Ross Greer in November, the First Minister committed to explore what can be done to stop companies profiting from Israel’s illegal settlements in Palestine from receiving public sector contracts and grants in Scotland. Mr Greer has now written to the First Minister to ask that this is progressed as quickly as possible.