Friday, July 18

How many more children must die before we stop selling arms to Israel?

They were playing 


when it happened. Four 

boys from the same 

family, all killed by Israeli 

navy shells as they 

played on Gaza City 

beach. This was not a 

one-off, freak accident. <------take action="" b="" here="">

Of the 237 Palestinians killed since Israeli air strikes began on 8 July, the majority have been civilians – many of them children.
Indiscriminate targeting of civilian areas is against international law. And yet countries including the UK are supplying weapons to Israel, knowing that they risk fuelling the current crisis. This has to stop.

Late last night, tanks rolled into parts of Gaza as Israel stepped up Operation ‘Protective Edge’. Since the current military offensive began, at least 237 Palestinians have been killed, 52 of them children*.
A further 1,764 Palestinians have been injured, including 521 children. Thousands of homes have been destroyed, displacing some 33,500 people. Over half the population of Gaza is without water, compounding the misery of civilians already suffering due to the ongoing blockade.
With the ground invasion now under way, we expect the numbers of civilian casualties and the destruction of Gaza’s already crippled infrastructure to increase. It is vital we act now.
Call on the UK Government to halt arms sales to Israel
The Israeli army has been deliberately targeting civilian homes it says belong to families of ‘Hamas operatives’. In several cases, however, no evidence has emerged that ‘Hamas operatives’ were in the houses at the time, or that the homes were being used for military purposes.
Meanwhile, two Israelis have been killed and scores injured amid indiscriminate rocket fire by Palestinian armed groups.
Indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks against civilians are against international law. Yet there’s a risk arms from the UK are facilitating such war crimes.
Last year the UK sold £6.3 million-worth of arms to Israel. We know arms from the UK have been used to commit human rights violations in Gaza in the past. As long as there is a substantial risk they will be used to commit the violations we’re seeing now, all sales to Israel must stop. The same is true for those supplying Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups.
Call on the UK to stop all arms sales to Israel - don’t facilitate war crimes 
Thank you – and please watch out for further action as the situation develops,
Kristyan Benedict
Kristyan Benedict
Crisis Campaign Manager
Amnesty International UK

P.S. The UK is not the worst when it comes to sales of arms to Israel; the US supplied $214 million-worth of weaponry in 2013. Our action to the UK Government is part of a coordinated campaign by Amnesty activists around the world to halt sales in their countries and call for a comprehensive UN arms embargo.

*Statistics from the UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) in OPT, as of 17 July 2014

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