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Potential Impact: Cameron Warns UK Ban on Arms to Israel May Empower Hamas

Former UK PM David Cameron Argues Arms Embargo on Israel Would Empower Hamas

The UK’s stance on halting arms sales to Israel in response to the situation in Rafah has been clarified by Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron, who emphasized that such a move would likely bolster Hamas. Although Lord Cameron expressed reservations about supporting a major ground offensive in Rafah, he indicated that the UK would not mirror the US decision to restrict certain arms sales.

He pointed out that the UK’s contribution to Israel’s weaponry is minimal, constituting only 1%, while stressing the importance of Israel’s obligation to safeguard civilians and facilitate humanitarian aid access.

Labour’s Jonathan Ashworth echoed concerns about the potential use of UK-made arms in Rafah, highlighting the humanitarian risks associated with a full-scale offensive.

Ex-UK Leader David Cameron Claims Halting Arms Sales to Israel Would Boost Hamas

The recent announcement by US President Joe Biden, indicating a shift in US-Israel relations, sparked debate on the global stage. Biden’s statement implied that the US would reconsider arms supply if Israel proceeded with plans for an invasion of Rafah, a move that has raised alarm among international observers.

In response, Lord Cameron emphasized that the UK’s approach differs from that of the US, particularly regarding arms exports. While the UK government does not directly sell arms to Israel, it grants licenses to weapons companies based on legal advice. This approach contrasts with the US, which engages in less restrictive government-to-government arms deals.

Lord Cameron cautioned against hasty decisions to alter arms export policies, citing potential ramifications on regional dynamics and hostage negotiations. He advocated for sustained efforts to facilitate humanitarian aid delivery to Gaza, emphasizing practical solutions over symbolic gestures.

The debate surrounding arms sales to Israel has intensified in the wake of a US State Department investigation implicating Israel in potential breaches of international humanitarian law. Lord Cameron acknowledged Israel’s shortcomings in allowing humanitarian access but underscored the UK’s distinct approach to addressing the issue.

The UK government’s position has drawn criticism from Labour MP Zarah Sultana, who accused it of complicity in potential war crimes by supplying arms to Israel. Sultana argued that the scale of arms sales was irrelevant, emphasizing the ethical implications of supporting conflict in Gaza.

Labour’s evolving stance on the Gaza issue reflects shifting priorities, with calls for an immediate ceasefire gaining traction in light of escalating violence. Mr. Ashworth reiterated concerns about the potential consequences of a full-scale offensive in Rafah and called for transparency regarding the legal rationale behind arms sales to Israel.

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