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Governments, arms companies and banks urged to end weapon sales to Israel

‘By sending weapons, parts, components and ammunition to Israeli forces,’ the above risk being ‘complicit in serious violations of international human rights laws,’ UN experts warn

STATES and companies must end arms sales to Israel immediately or risk responsibility for human rights violations, UN experts have warned.

The transfer of weapons and ammunition to Israel may “constitute serious violations of international humanitarian laws and risk complicity in international crimes, possibly including genocide,” UN Special Rapporteurs for the Human Rights Council said in a statement on Thursday night.

The experts also called on BAE Systems, Boeing, Caterpillar, Lockheed Martin, Rolls-Royce Power Systems, and many other arms firms to end sales to Israel even if they have been granted licences to do so.

“These companies, by sending weapons, parts, components and ammunition to Israeli forces, risk being complicit in serious violations of international human rights and international humanitarian laws,” the experts said.

“This risk is heightened by the recent decision from the International Court of Justice ordering Israel to immediately halt its military offensive in Rafah, having recognised genocide as a plausible risk, as well as the request filed by the prosecutor of the International Criminal Court seeking arrest warrants for Israeli leaders on allegations of war crimes and crimes against humanity,” the statement said.

“In this context, continuing arms transfers to Israel may be seen as knowingly providing assistance for operations that contravene international human rights and international humanitarian laws and may result in profit from such assistance.”

The experts also warned that financial institutions investing in arms companies could also be held accountable, and called on Bank of America, BlackRock, Citigroup, JP Morgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, and many others to take urgent action.

Should financial institutions fail to end business relationships with companies sending weapons to Israel, they could “move from being directly linked to human rights abuses to contributing to them, with repercussions for complicity in potential atrocity crimes,” the experts said.

Today, meanwhile, Armenia said it would recognise a Palestinian state.

And, the head of a major hospital in north Gaza said staff have seen about 250 children suffering from malnutrition due to acute food shortages.

Israel’s bombardment of Gaza — launched last October ostensibly to wipe out Hamas after the terrorist group killed over 1,000 Israelis and kidnapped over 250 others — has killed more than 37,100 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

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