UK faces pressure to stop selling weapons to Israel after aid workers killed

1 week ago 46

Updated

Apr 04, 2024, 12:27 AM

Published

Apr 04, 2024, 12:12 AM

LONDON - British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak is facing growing political pressure to stop selling weapons to Israel after seven aid workers, including three British nationals, were killed by an Israeli airstrike in Gaza.

The three main British opposition parties and some lawmakers in the governing party on Wednesday said the British government should consider suspending arm sales.

The Liberal Democrats called for arms exports to Israel to be suspended, while the Scottish National Party also backed that move and said parliament should be recalled from its Easter break to discuss the crisis.

The main opposition Labour Party, who polls suggest will form the next government later this year, adopted a nuanced approach, saying the government should suspend arms sales if lawyers have found Israel had broken international law.

"It's important now that, that advice is published so that we can all be clear that if there has been a breach in international humanitarian law -and I must say that I do have very serious concerns - that arm sales are suspended," said David Lammy, the Labour foreign policy chief, told reporters.

The strike on the convoy of people working for aid group World Central Kitchen killed citizens of Australia, Britain and Poland as well as Palestinians and a dual citizen of the U.S. and Canada. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu said that the strike was tragic and unintended, and the Israeli military pledged an independent inquiry.

WCK said its staff were travelling in two armoured cars emblazoned with the charity's logo and another vehicle, and had coordinated their movements with the Israeli military.

ARMS SALES KEPT UNDER REVIEW

Sunak on Wednesday resisted calls to immediately suspend weapons sales to Israel. He said that arms exports to the country are kept under review.

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