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David Cameron Affirms UK’s Commitment to Supply Arms to Israel

David Cameron says UK will not withhold arms sales to Israel

David Cameron declared that the UK won’t cease its arms trade with Israel, setting the UK’s position apart from the US, which has temporarily halted weapon deliveries. This differentiation is due to the UK not being a remarkable source of arms to Israel through official state channels.

The foreign secretary additionally emphasized that the UK does not endorse a large-scale invasion of Rafah unless it sees a plan ensuring civilian protection, a position reiterated by the UK over the past month.

Officials from the Foreign Office mentioned that they have no preference regarding whether Hamas or Israel aligns more closely with the UK’s stance on a two-stage ceasefire, commencing with a humanitarian ceasefire and transitioning to a permanent cessation. They noted that Israel claimed the offer accepted by Hamas on Sunday differed from the one Israel had been willing to accept the week prior.

UK won’t follow US in halting arms to Israel if it invades Rafah

During a Q&A session following a detailed speech outlining his foreign policy vision after six months in office, Cameron highlighted the distinction between the US and UK situations.

He emphasized that while the US is a major supplier of weapons to Israel, the UK’s supply of weapons to Israel is seriously less substantial, constituting a fraction of Israel’s total. Cameron reiterated the UK’s stance on Rafah, stating that support for a major operation in Rafah would only be considered with a clear plan to protect lives, which has not been presented.

Cameron underscored the UK’s stringent licensing procedures for arms exports and pledged to continue following them closely in the future.

Meanwhile, US President Joe Biden reinforced the US position by stating that arms would not be supplied for use in population centers.

UK officials refrained from specifying what actions by Israel in Rafah would constitute crossing a red line, but it seems that a ground invasion would be deemed a violation of international humanitarian law.

Cameron emphasized his focus on improving humanitarian aid flow into Gaza, noting progress with the opening of the Rafah crossing and aid deliveries.

Challenges to Cameron’s claim about UK arms sales differing from those of the US to Israel could arise based on whether the scale or supplier of the arms is material and whether the arms are used in a manner conflicting with UK legal criteria on the risk of breaching international humanitarian law.

The Foreign Office anticipates the imminent formal assessment of UK arms sales and their potential risk for serious breaches, conducted on a six-week cycle.

In his speech, Cameron urged the UK and its allies to display more courage in confronting adversaries in what he described as a moment of peril. He characterized the situation as a battle of wills with an authoritarian bloc that believes it can outlast and endure more pain than the West. Cameron challenged isolationist sentiments, arguing that focusing solely on domestic matters is misguided as global events directly impact citizens.

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