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‘Not only is our government complicit in genocide, it knows it’

Protesters block NHS HQ over battle tech links as pressure mounts on government to halt arms sales to Israel

BRITAIN is complicit in Israel’s killing of seven aid workers in Gaza, including three British citizens, anti-arms campaigners charge.

The workers were killed by a strike from a Hermes 450 drone manufactured by Elbit Systems.

The Hermes 450 is powered by a UK-made R902(W) Wankel engine, which is produced by Elbit subsidiary UAV Engines Limited in the UK, according to the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).

CAAT’s Emily Apple said: “This government is complicit in the murder of UK aid workers in Gaza. 

“It has had every opportunity to impose an arms embargo and has refused to do so. 

“Not only is our government complicit in genocide, it knows it. 

“Time and again, David Cameron and Foreign Office ministers have refused to answer direct questions on the legal advice they’ve received. 

“They have misled Parliament and made a mockery of both our democracy and international law.”

It follows revelations that the Foreign Office is hiding legal advice that Israel is breaching international humanitarian law, according to foreign affairs committee chairwoman Alicia Kearns. 

Campaigners said that the government’s own criteria say it must halt arms sales when there is a clear risk they could be breaching international humanitarian law.

Seven aid workers from the World Central Kitchen were killed in an Israeli air strike on Tuesday, three of whom were British — John Chapman, 57, James Kirby, 47 and James “Jim” Henderson, 33.

The British families of the victims said the workers will be remembered as “heroes.”

Following the strike, MPs demanded an immediate investigation into whether Britain supplied the arms that killed the British workers. 

Former national security adviser Lord Peter Ricketts has said Britain should send a “powerful message” by halting arms sales to Israel.

He said: “I think there is abundant evidence now that Israel hasn’t been taking enough care to fulfil its obligations on the safety of civilians, and a country that gets arms from the UK has to comply with international humanitarian law, that is a condition of the arms export licensing policy.”

Healthcare workers blockaded NHS England’s headquarters today, demanding that it sever ties with Palantir — a US spy-tech firm which supplies technology to Israel’s genocidal military. 

The secretive Silicon Valley company, first funded by the CIA, was awarded a £330 million contract by the NHS to create a new data system last year, sparking a backlash from privacy campaigners.

In January, Palantir entered a “strategic partnership” with Israel’s Ministry of Defence, agreeing to provide technology for “war-related missions.”

Hundreds of NHS workers took part in the protest, holding placards which read “No Palantir in the NHS” and “Palantir aids apartheid.”

Emergency doctor Harriet, who helped organise the protest, said: “A company profiting from Israel’s war on hospitals and the massacre of health workers and patients has absolutely no place in our NHS."

She said that Palantir’s technology has “undoubtedly contributed to the systematic destruction of Gaza’s healthcare system and killing of doctors and nurses, and this likely includes the siege which has turned al-Shifa hospital into a mass graveyard.

“The NHS is funded by the public to save lives, not to award contracts to companies which profit from mass murder,” she added.

The protest came as devastating images emerge showing Gaza’s largest hospital al-Shifa in ruins, after a two-week raid by the Israeli Defence Forces. 

The Gaza media office say that 400 people in the compound were killed, including health workers and patients. 

Israel has launched 804 attacks on Gaza health facilities since October 7.

Timesh, a respiratory doctor taking part in the blockade said: “The targeting of Gaza’s health workers is so systemic many now say they hide their scrubs because wearing them puts a target on their back.

“How can the NHS possibly justify endorsing a war profiteer involved in the flattening of medical facilities and the murder of doctors, nurses, dentists, medical students and other health workers?” 

Campaigners have flagged concerns over how confidential patient data will be used after Palantir was awarded a contract to create a “federated data platform” for the NHS. 

Key parts of the contract were initially redacted, saving it from public scrutiny, while Good Law Project says that a section on the protection of personal data is still being agreed, even after the contract was signed.

Mariano delli Santi, legal and policy officer called the platform “the by-product of a morally bankrupt surveillance company” that “NHS staff don’t want to use and patients cannot trust.”

Dr John Puntis, co-chair of Keep Our NHS Public, said his organisation “does not believe Palantir is a right and proper business to hold NHS contracts” and that he was protesting today among those “appalled at the deliberate targeting of health staff and aid workers in Gaza.”

CAAT were set to join Palestine Solidarity Cornwall for an emergency vigil and protest at 6.30pm at Events Square in Falmouth, Cornwall, last night.

One of the British aid workers killed in the attack, Mr Henderson, was from Falmouth.

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