Yesterday, Campaign Against Arms Trade won a major victory in the Court of Appeal as judges declared that British arms sales to Saudi Arabia are unlawful because ministers failed to properly assess their contribution to civilian casualties in indiscriminate bombing in Yemen.
This decision demonstrates the strength of grassroots campaigning and our collective power in holding governments to account for their complicity in human rights violations across the world.
This case highlights that the UK Government has shamefully disregarded how their arms trade policies have contributed to civilian deaths in Yemen. But we know that this total lack of responsibility is causing death and destruction in many other countries too – not least in Palestine.
The UK is a major arms exporter to Israel and purchaser of Israeli weapons and weapon technology. Israel is notorious for marketing its weapons as “battle tested” after they have been used on Palestinian civilians. In the last 15 months, since the start of the Great Return March, Israel has killed more than 200 unarmed demonstrators and injured over 27000 with live fire. And every day, Israel uses weaponised bulldozers to destroy Palestinian homes and communities and expand its illegal occupation.
These are just some of the grave human rights violations that the UK Government is directly complicit in through its arms trading with Israel. They must be held to account for this.
We extend our warmest congratulations to our friends at CAAT for their hard fought victory, and we draw inspiration from this case going forward. Now, we must all redouble our calls for a 2-way arms embargo on Israel until it ends its brutal attacks on the Palestinian people.