Sarwar joins calls for UK to halt arms sales to Israel

Anas Sarwar is the latest senior member of the party to call for an immediate ban on weapon sales to Israel after Sadiq Khan…reports Asian Lite News

The leader of the Labour Party in Scotland has joined the mayor of London in calling for the UK to halt arms sales to Israel, The Guardian newspaper reported.

Anas Sarwar is the latest senior member of the party to call for an immediate ban on weapon sales to Israel after Sadiq Khan urged the same on Thursday.

Ministers in the Conservative government are under pressure to reveal legal advice they have received regarding the sales to Israel during its military campaign against Hamas in Gaza, which could mean the UK is found to be breaking international law.

Foreign Secretary David Cameron said last month that the advice would be revealed in a matter of days, but the government in Westminster has since refused to confirm when it will be released.

Speaking to BBC Scotland on Friday, Sarwar said Israel had “clearly” breached international law during its campaign in Gaza and that the UK should immediately halt the sale of weapons.

Government sources have said the release of the legal advice is a complicated issue because it is based on an “evolving situation,” and could be impacted by events such as the death of seven aid workers in an Israeli strike on a World Central Kitchen convoy earlier this week.

“This advice has been batted around for a while but it’s a complex, moving thing,” a Whitehall source said. “As well as the legal implications, they also need to balance diplomatic considerations and what other allies might do.”

Conservative MP Alicia Kearns, who is also chair of the UK’s Foreign Affairs Committee, told the BBC on Friday that Israeli attacks on humanitarian workers were “happening on a daily basis and we are not seeing this outcry when it is about Palestinian volunteers.”

She also added her voice to calls for the UK to halt arms sales to Israel while it is breaching international humanitarian law.

“I believe we have no choice but to suspend arms sales and it is important that the public understands this is not a political decision as some people want to present it as,” she told BBC Radio 4’s “Today” program.

“Legal advice is advisory so the government can choose to reject it, but UK arms export licenses require a recipient to comply with international humanitarian law. That is why emergency hand brakes exist in terms of change of circumstances.”

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