UN Experts call for Israeli Arms Embargo!
Palestinians mourn by the covered bodies of victims following an Israeli air strike on Deir Al Balah, southern Gaza Strip, 23 February 2024. EFE-EPA/MOHAMMED SABER

UN Experts call for Israeli Arms Embargo!


Geneva, Feb 23 (EFE).-

Governments across the world must “refrain from transferring any weapon or ammunition” to Israel likely to be used in Gaza, a group of UN experts said on Friday.

“All states must ensure respect for international humanitarian law by parties to an armed conflict,” said 37 members of “Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council,” the largest body of independent experts in the UN rights system.

“States must accordingly refrain from transferring any weapon or ammunition — or parts for them — if it is expected, given the facts or past patterns of behaviour, that they would be used to violate international law,” they said in a joint statement.

Among the signatories are UN Special Rapporteur for the Palestinian Territories Francesca Albanese and her counterparts for human rights protection during the anti-terrorism fight (Ben Saul) and against racism and xenophobia (Ashwini K.P.).

The experts welcomed the suspension of arms transfers to Israel by Belgium, Italy, Spain, the Netherlands, and the Japanese company Itochu Corporation.

The European Union also recently discouraged arms exports to Israel, they noted.

The experts urged other states to immediately halt arms transfers to Israel, including export licenses and military aid.

They pointed out that the United States and Germany are by far the largest arms exporters, and shipments have increased since Oct.7, 2023, when the war between the Palestinian Islamist Hamas group and the Israeli military erupted.

Other military exporters include France, the United Kingdom, Canada, and Australia.

“The need for an arms embargo on Israel is heightened by the International Court of Justice’s ruling on 26 January 2024 that there is a plausible risk of genocide in Gaza and the continuing serious harm to civilians since then,” the experts said.

The experts noted that arms transfers to Hamas and other armed groups are also prohibited by international law, given their grave violations of international humanitarian law on Oct. 7 last year when Islamist fighters killed nearly 1,200 people and took 250 hostages in Gaza.

Israel has since unleashed a brutal military offensive in Gaza, killing nearly 30,000 people, mostly women and children, in a violent campaign that continues in the fifth month of the war. EFE


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