Oxfam reaction to UK Government review on arms to Israel

- Published:
- Short URL: https://www.oxfam.org.uk/mc/gb26h4/

In response to a statement made by the Foreign Office yesterday evening, on a review of evidence of Israel’s military campaign in Gaza which found no reason to suspend arms exports to Israel, Helen Stawski, Policy Lead at Oxfam GB, said:

“How can the Government argue that Israel is complying with International Humanitarian Law when it has been clear in its own statements that Israel is deliberately blocking aid and causing starvation?

“It is morally incoherent for the UK Government to call for more humanitarian aid to be allowed in, while continuing to defend its position on selling arms to Israel. By sending weapons, the UK Government is defying the ICJ ruling and contributing to the immense suffering of the people of Gaza. There is overwhelming evidence that the Israeli military have deliberately and systematically targeted civilians and aid workers and attacked vital infrastructure like water systems, hospitals, and schools. Millions of people are facing the threat of famine and being forced to survive with barely enough water and without healthcare or proper shelter.

“Israel’s relentless bombardment of Gaza has so far killed or injured 5 per cent of the entire population, and the ongoing offensive in Rafah is creating many more casualties, including in this week’s horrific assault on a refugee camp. With this level of death and destruction, UK Ministers should be making daily determinations of the legality of arms sales, not waiting to review evidence every few months.

“If the Government is serious about wanting the fighting to stop, it must immediately stop fuelling the catastrophe through the sale of arms.”


Notes to editors:

According to a statement made by the Foreign Office on the evening of Friday 31 May, UK government ministers found no reason to suspend arms exports to Israel, following a review of evidence of Israel’s conduct in their military campaign in Gaza for a 3 month period up to 24 April.

Press contact

For comments, interviews, or information please contact Sarah Dransfield (Senior Press Officer):