UK court to review govt decision to allow arms exports to Israel

UK court to review govt decision to allow arms exports to Israel

  LONDON, April 24 (NNN-AGENCIES) — Britain’s High Court agreed to hear a legal challenge later this year over continued UK arms exports to Israel during its war against Hamas in Gaza.

A coalition of legal advocacy groups wants the court to scrutinise the UK government’s decision to keep selling military parts and arms to Israel despite claims that it is unlawful because they are allegedly used in war crimes.

Britain’s strategic licensing criteria state that weapons should not be exported when there is a clear risk they could be used in violations of international humanitarian law.

The UK government department for business and trade, which authorises the sales on the advice of the foreign office, is fighting the legal challenge.

At a court hearing Tuesday, judge Jonathan Swift scheduled the case for a full hearing in October after various provisional legal matters are resolved over the coming months.

In February the court had rejected a petition to fast-track the case, which was opposed by government lawyers.

Dearbhla Minogue, senior lawyer at the Global Legal Action Network which is involved in the case, accused ministers of making the process “as painstakingly slow as possible”.

“Given the urgency of the situation in Gaza, the government should listen to the international legal consensus and halt weapons sales now,” she said.

The war erupted when Palestinian militants poured across the border with Israel on Oct 7 in an unprecedented Hamas-led attack that resulted in the deaths of 1,170 people.

In retaliation, Israel launched a military offensive that has killed at least 34,183 people in Gaza, mostly women and children, according to the health ministry in the Hamas-run territory. — NNN-AGENCIES


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