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Joint Letter: Rights organisations demand new Labour government end UK complicity in Israel’s atrocity crimes


Dear Prime Minister, Foreign Secretary, and Secretary of State for Business and Trade, 

We cannot undo the last 9 months, but you can bring the United Kingdom back from the brink

  1. Five days ago, Prime Minister, you said that the “sunlight of hope was shining once again”, for the United Kingdom (UK) to get its future back.  The Conservatives have left the country’s credibility on the international stage in ruins. The Labour Party now has the chance to start restoring some credibility by ensuring the UK abides by international law, thereby extricating the UK from the indelible stain of complicity in Israeli crimes that deeply shock the conscience of humanity.   

  2. We are asking this government for leadership and to take a just decision, for the sake of Palestinians in Gaza who are living through “hell on earth”. The world should have put an end to their unimaginable suffering a long time ago.  Labour must suspend, revoke and refuse all arms licences for Israel now.

  3. Stopping the supply of arms to Israel to prevent further acts of genocide, is not only the legal obligation of the UK, it is a moral obligation. The Prime Minister and Foreign Secretary are themselves lawyers  –– they know that there will, undoubtedly, be a reckoning in which Israel will be found to have committed mass atrocities. Schoolchildren will learn about this period for years to come, just as we have all learned about past genocides and wondered how they could be allowed to happen. Will they read about a new Labour government that acted with respect for the sanctity of all human life? 

  4. Will Labour play a hand in stopping what has become termed a “mass assassination factory”, or wait until the killing and erasure of the Palestinian people is complete, and then express its sorrow? We know that on just his second day in office, Prime Minister Starmer called Prime Minister Netanyahu and set out the “clear and urgent need for a ceasefire”. Calls for a ceasefire are evidently not enough, in particular when the UK is arming one party to the conflict. Israel is destroying a people –– 38,193 Palestinians have been killed and 87,903 Palestinians injured in Gaza –– in acts that United Nations officials described by as “an abyss of suffering” and the “epicentre of seismic trauma”, “a moral stain on the conscience of our collective humanity” –– “this war broke all the superlatives”. The number of Palestinians killed directly and indirectly combined could reach 186,000 people - approximately 8% of the population of Gaza if there isn’t an immediate ceasefire and uninhibited entry of  resources for basic human needs, according to The Lancet. The UK is breaching international law, arms licences to Israel must stop now. 

  5. Yesterday, Palestinians in Northern Gaza reported bombing which matched October 2023 in its intensity –– with levels of destruction not witnessed since World War II, nearly all civilian infrastructure is completely destroyed –– yet the bombing is continuing and intensifying. Starving people roam the streets with no protection from extreme weather conditions, not knowing where to go after Israel issued mass evacuation orders that people could not follow –– there is no safe place in Gaza. Most Palestinians have been displaced multiple times; they are starving and malnourished. “Everyone in Gaza” is now “at risk of getting sick and dying”, according to the WHO.

  6. Can the world ever recover from this? The world cannot unsee the video of a boy walking in the pouring rain and floodwater, carrying a small child in a funeral shroud. We cannot unsee the corpses discovered, buried alive, at Shifa and Nasser Hospitals. We cannot unsee the children’s legs with names written on them, or the solitary hand protruding from the rubble, waving as starving rescuers try to lift concrete slabs with their bare hands. Can we ever process hearing a child say they wish they could die, or hearing men – aid workers and doctors – recount the heinous torture, including reports of mock executions, they have suffered?

  7. As you know, GLAN and Al-Haq are expert legal organisations who have brought the previous government’s decision-making before the High Court of England and Wales. We are calling on you to apply the law and disavow the previous government’s decisions and end the sale of arms to Israel. Should you wish to discuss the matters raised in this letter, we remain at your disposal. 

Yours faithfully, 

Global Legal Action Network and Al-Haq 

Supported by

International Centre of Justice for Palestinians (ICJP)

War on Want

Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT)

Palestine Solidarity Campaign

Donate to the crowdfund to support this legal fight to stop arms sales to Israel:

Find out more about the ongoing case here.


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