UN Experts Warn Arms Suppliers to Israel of Complicity in Human Rights Violations

UN Experts Warn Arms Suppliers to Israel of Complicity in Human Rights Violations

TEHRAN (Tasnim) - United Nations experts have cautioned companies supplying weapons to Israel that they might be complicit in the regime’s human rights abuses and violations of international law, urging an immediate halt to arms trade with the regime.

In a statement issued on Thursday, a coalition of 30 UN experts, including several Special Rapporteurs, called on these firms to cease their trade with Israel, even if current export licenses permit such transactions.

They asserted, "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 pointed to recent rulings by the International Court of Justice condemning Israel's genocide in Gaza and a request by the International Criminal Court's Prosecutor for arrest warrants against Israeli officials for war crimes and crimes against humanity.

"Continuing arms transfers to Israel may be seen as knowingly providing assistance for operations that violate international law and could lead to profits from such assistance," they added.

They further urged an end to the indirect supply of weapons through intermediary countries and stressed the urgency of imposing an arms embargo on Israel. The experts described Israel's military campaign in Gaza as marked by "indiscriminate and disproportionate" attacks on civilians and infrastructure in the besieged Palestinian territory.

Meanwhile, reports surfaced that directors of 20 UK arms companies were warned of potential legal consequences for complicity in war crimes and crimes against humanity. Referring to British law, pro-Palestinian campaigners cited the 2001 International Criminal Court Act, cautioning that "Individuals transferring weapons to Israel are exposed to criminal liability."

In response, Dearbhla Minogue, a senior lawyer with the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN), stated, "The fact that they are hiding behind a licensing system which is unfit for purpose will not protect them if and when they face a jury of their peers because ordinary people can see through politicians' obfuscation."

Campaign groups including GLAN, Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT), War on Want, and the International Center of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP) addressed directors of British firms supplying components for F-35 fighter jets used by Israel. Lockheed Martin, alongside partners like BAE Systems, supplies these crucial components.

Campaigners warned these companies of potential criminal liability for supplying weaponry used in what they termed Israel’s ongoing "savage campaign in Gaza." Neil Sammonds from War on Want emphasized, "There is nowhere to hide for company directors choosing to provide weaponry to a state whose leaders have made clear their intent not to comply with international law."

The United States, Britain, Germany, and Italy have been major suppliers of arms to Israel, with the US Congress recently approving a significant arms sale including 50 F-15 fighter jets valued over $18 billion.

On Wednesday, the UN Human Rights Office published an assessment criticizing the Israeli military for six deadly strikes in Gaza between October and December 2023. The report concluded that the Tel Aviv regime "may have systematically violated" principles of distinction, proportionality, and precautions in attack.

Israel launched its brutal offensive on Gaza in October 7 following a retaliatory operation by Palestinian resistance against Israeli aggressions. The Israeli genocidal war has resulted in the deaths of over 37,400 Palestinians, predominantly women and children, and left more than 85,600 injured.


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