Last week, it was reported that Israeli Chief of General Staff Aviv Kohavi virtually met with Chief of the Defence Staff General Sir Nick Carter and signed a joint agreement to “formalise and enhance” military co-operation between the UK and Israel.
The deal is understood to encompass military training, organisational design, as well as cyber, maritime and air warfare.
The co-operation agreement strengthens existing British-Israel military co-operation. Earlier this year, it was revealed that the British Ministry of Defence had bought £46million worth of military equipment from Israel’s largest private arms manufacturer Elbit Systems whose equipment has been used extensively to target the civilian population of Gaza. In addition, Britain exports large amounts of military equipment to Israel, and has 10 troops in Israel to offer military training.
This enhanced co-operation is deeply disturbing to people of conscience in the UK. The Israeli military violates the basic tenets of international humanitarian law in a variety of ways. This includes through enforcing the belligerent military occupation of Palestinian land, as well as the land, air and naval siege on Gaza.
Moreover, during the last two years, the Israeli military has indiscriminately targeted Palestinian protesters in Gaza, marching for their basic human rights as part of the Great March of Return, killing over 250 and injuring over 30,000.
Indiscriminate military force is how Israel maintains its brutal regime of dispossession, occupation, and subjugation of the Palestinian population.
As a result Palestinian civilian society has repeatedly called for states to enact measures to hold Israel to account under international law, and end the climate of international complicity with Israel’s human rights violations. This includes ending all military-security co-operation with Israel and a ban on arms trade.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign stands with Palestinian civil society, and calls for this deal to be rescinded, alongside the enactment of an immediate two-ways arms embargo until Israel complies with international law, and stops using military force to violate the human rights of the Palestinian people. This is the only way the UK government can discharge its obligation not be complicit in Israel’s ongoing breaches of international law.
TAKE ACTION: Sign our petition calling on the UK to revoke the cooperation agreement, and instead enact a two-way arms embargo. Click here!