UK arms sales to Israel: letter to Lord Ahmad

First Minister Humza Yousaf has responded to the UK Government's decision not to end the sale of arms exports to Israel.

Dear Lord Ahmad,

Thank you for your letter of 8 April replying to mine to the Prime Minister of 23 February and 3 April.

I welcome the UK Government’s stated commitment to International Humanitarian Law, our diplomats’ contribution to finally achieving a UN Security Council Resolution, and the UK’s wider efforts to bring an end to the tragedy befalling the people of the Middle East.

I share with you the grief at the killing of three British aid workers, along with every other innocent man, woman and child killed in Gaza and Israel since Hamas’s terrorist attacks of 7 October and Israel’s response, which has gone far beyond any legitimate response.

In spite of everything contained in your comprehensive reply, I note that you have not agreed to my call to end the license of arms exports to Israel, which means that the UK will continue to arm Israel’s war in Gaza. A war that has left tens of thousands dead, the majority reported to be women and children.

As I said in my letter of 3 April, by continuing to arm Israel, the United Kingdom Government is in danger of being complicit in the killing of innocent civilians.

I find it difficult to comprehend that this continues to be the United Kingdom’s position against the backdrop of the ICJ ruling; UN Security Council, General Assembly and Human Rights Council Resolutions; countless UN officials’ statements about the catastrophic humanitarian situation in Gaza; and the recent open letter signed by over 600 legal professionals warning of potential UK complicity in grave breaches of international law, including violations of the Genocide Convention.

If this, alongside the killing of British nationals among at least 35,000 dead – the majority of whom are innocent women and children – is insufficient to change your policy, what more will it take?

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