Call for ban on arms sales to Israel: letter to Prime Minister

First Minister Humza Yousaf has called for an immediate end to arms sales to Israel from the UK in a letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.

To: Prime Minister Rishi Sunak

From: First Minister Humza Yousaf

In my letter to you of 23 February, I called upon the UK Government to ban the license of arms exports from the UK to Israel, given the risk of increasing bloodshed caused by Israel’s threat to carry out a ground offensive into Rafah. I note that I have yet to receive a response and you have taken no such action, despite the death-toll continuing to increase.

The latest tragedy, which saw three British aid workers killed amongst others by an Israeli air strike against a World Central Kitchen convoy, has caused global outrage. I note your public statement calling for an immediate investigation, however over 190 humanitarian workers have died in Gaza since the beginning of the conflict, with no end in sight, no accountability, and little or no sign of Israel paying heed to the International Court of Justice’s ruling or the recent United Nations Security Council Resolution.

In spite of this, the UK Government continue to allow British-based companies to arm Israel despite the fact that Israel has killed children, women, aid workers and bombed hospitals, schools and refugee camps. I have said repeatedly that Israel has the right to defend itself and called for hostages to be released. I believe, however, that Israel’s actions have long since gone beyond a legitimate response. Enough is enough. The Israeli Government must be held to account.

I therefore write again to demand an immediate end to arms sales to Israel from the United Kingdom. The civilian death toll is intolerable, as is the killing of humanitarian workers who deliver vital aid to Palestinians facing starvation and violence at the hands of this Israeli government. By not stopping arms sales to Israel, the UK is in danger of being complicit in the killing of innocent civilians.

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