UK Court Grants Human Rights Watch, Amnesty International Permission to Intervene in Israel Arms Case

Responding to the decision of the High Court granting permission for Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to intervene in an ongoing legal challenge by Al-Haq and the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) to the UK’s transfer of arms to Israel, Yasmine Ahmed, UK Director of Human Rights Watch, said:

We welcome the Court’s decision to allow Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International to intervene in this critical case.

In the face of Israel’s ongoing crimes in Gaza, the UK Government presents the farcical argument that it is lawful to continue sending arms to Israel on that basis that Israel is committed to complying with international law. Our evidence shows the exact opposite.

Time and again, Israel’s official statements, policies and practice are in direct contradiction with international law and the results are clear to see: children in Gaza are dying of starvation and starvation-related illnesses. It is critical that the Government’s justification for arming Israel is properly scrutinized by the UK Courts.

The law is very clear, arms should be suspended when there is a clear risk that arms and military equipment might be used to facilitate or commit serious violations of international law. As Israel continues to carry out widespread serious violations, including war crimes, the UK should immediately suspend arms licenses to avoid breaching its own laws and being complicit in these grave abuses.”

While this decision is of course welcome, it is a sorry state of affairs that the case even needed to be brought. We shouldn’t have to drag ministers in front of judges to have them comply with their own laws.

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