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British MPs call on London to stop flow of arms exports to Israel over war crimes in Gaza

The House of Commons in London, the United Kingdom (file photo)

British lawmakers have called on London to halt the current flow of arms exports to Israel over its war crimes against Palestinians in the Gaza Strip, which has been under intense bombardment for over two months.

Speaking in a House of Commons debate on Tuesday, more than a dozen legislators stressed that the British government must no longer send arms to Israel, asking London whether it knows how the occupying entity is using British weapons, as they fear the UK’s complicity in atrocities.

“Do the government know whether British weapons or military equipment are being used in Gaza or not?” asked Labour MP John McDonnell, who also asked whether spare parts for F-16 and F-35 fighter jets used in the bombing had been shipped to Israel.

The British government is obligated under its own arms export laws to suspend arms export licenses if it determines that there is a clear risk that British weapons might be used in violations of international law.

McDonnell asked for the suspension of arms transfers to Israel and undertaking a “complete review”, like similar measures London made during the wars in the impoverished sliver in 2009 and 2014, “to see exactly how what we have supplied is being used and whether it is being used in Gaza, because if it is, I am afraid we [have] become complicit in the war crime.”

He stressed that many questions he posed came from a letter sent by several UK-based civil society organizations to the government on December 8, urging for an immediate end to British arms exports to Israel.

“Should we not be able to expect more of companies in the UK, and that they will not be like immoral drug dealers on the corner, selling to whoever, whenever, regardless of the consequences?” said independent MP Angus Brendan MacNeil. 

“We expect companies that live among us in the UK not to be funding or aiding and abetting death in Gaza, as is happening at the moment,” he stressed.

Israel waged the war on Gaza on October 7 after the Palestinian Hamas resistance group carried out the surprise Operation Al-Aqsa Storm against the occupying entity in response to the Israeli regime’s atrocities against Palestinians.

More than 18,600 Palestinians have been killed, including more than 7,000 children, and more than 50,100 others injured since the onset of the current US-backed war on Gaza.

The governments of the UK, the United States and the European Union member states have been providing Israel with weapons and military assistance since the onset of the ongoing war.

Last month, Palestinian officials in the besieged Gaza Strip said the Israeli regime had dropped more than 32,000 tons of explosives on the territory in its war of aggression. 

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