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Israeli arms embargo ‘not wise’ as US and UK ‘are in a totally different situation’, says Cameron | Politics News

Speaking to Trevor Phillips on Sky News, Lord Cameron said an arms embargo would strengthen Hamas and make a hostage deal less likely.

By Faye Brown, political reporter @fayebrownSky


Sunday 12 May 2024 09:51, United Kingdom

An Israeli arms embargo is “not a smart course” and the UK and US are “in a totally different situation”, the foreign secretary said.

Lord Cameron told the Sunday morning with the Trevor Phillips show that it would be “extremely dangerous” for Israel to attempt a major offensive in Rafah.

Cameron criticizes Labor for defection – follow the latest news

But when asked if the UK would follow the US lead and stop arms supplies to Israel if it launches an attack on the southernmost city of Gaza, a crucial route for aid, he said the UK and US “They are in a totally different situation.” .

“The United States is a huge state supplier of weapons to Israel, including, you know, 1,000-pound bombs and everything else,” he said.

“The UK provides less than 1% of Israel’s weapons and is not a state supplier. We have a licensing system and those licenses can be canceled if it is considered that there is a serious risk of a serious international violation of human rights.”



Image:
Palestinians flee Rafah. Photo: Reuters

He added that the last time he was pressured to announce an arms embargo, “a few days later there was a massive Iranian attack on Israelincluding 140 cruise missiles.

“So I don’t think it would have been a smart path.”

“If I announced that today, it might help me get through this TV interview, but it would actually strengthen Hamas. It would weaken Israel,” Lord Cameron said.

“I think it probably makes a hostage deal less likely. So I don’t think some kind of political statement is the right answer. We should continue with our rigorous process to make sure we’re acting within the law.”

Israel called on the residents of Rafah in Gaza evacuate and head to the “extended humanitarian zone” as it prepares to intensify its military attack.

Israel extends Rafah evacuation order

Despite strong American pressure, Israel has said it will proceed with an assault on the southern city, where more than 1.4 million people have taken refuge from the fighting, about half of them children.

Israeli forces say Hamas The militants are entrenched, making Rafah key to their goal of dismantling the group’s capabilities and returning dozens of hostages captured in the Oct. 7 attack by insurgents that triggered war.

But tensions over the growing offensive have led Joe Biden to warn the US stop supplying some weapons to Israel if he goes ahead with an invasion.

The United Kingdom “should stop sending weapons to Israel”



Image:
Palestinian children carry water containers as people flee Rafah. Photo: Reuters

Labor said a full-scale offensive in Rafah would be “catastrophic beyond description” and that the UK should adopt the US position.

Shadow leader Jonathon Ashworth told Sky News. “We don’t want weapons to be used in Rafah and as Joe Biden has said, if this happens those weapons should be stopped and we think the government should take that position now.”

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Lord Cameron said the UK government has been clear that it does not support the Rafah offensive and that it would be a mistake for Israel to go ahead with it “without a plan to protect people”.

“In Rafah there are hundreds of thousands of people who have moved from other parts of Gaza. Therefore, it would be extremely dangerous to attempt a major offensive in that way,” he said.

However, he also stated that the problem “can be traced back to Hamas.”

“Hamas has been offered a deal that would free hundreds of prisoners from Israeli jails,” said Lord Cameron.

“That would provide a pause in the fighting to bring desperately needed aid to Gaza.

“And they won’t accept that deal. So I think the question really is for Hamas: Why are they allowing this suffering to continue when they can stop it now?”