UK’s Lord Cameron Issues ‘Arms Embargo’ Alert to Israel Amid Global Tensions

Reports out of Israeli media are hinting that the UK’s government has put Israel on notice. They’re threatening to stop arms sales unless the Red Cross gets to check on the Hamas fighters currently in detention.

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Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron, according to Thursday’s Yedioth Ahronoth, suggested Europe might slap an “arms embargo” on Israel if they keep blocking Red Cross visits to the captives.

This warning comes on the heels of chatter that the UK was thinking of halting arms deals if Israel went into Rafah, Gaza. Writing to the parliamentary foreign affairs select committee, Lord Cameron couldn’t see a way for the Rafah offensive to happen without civilian casualties and houses getting wrecked.

The ex-PM shared his “serious worries” about the potential attack.

“The humanitarian fallout of a full-blown ground offensive would be catastrophic,” he noted.

He also mentioned: “We’re pushing Israel to focus on military sites and to do everything they can to not hurt civilians or damage homes.”

Now, British reps are apparently insisting the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) be let in to see the Hamas detainees in Israel, to make sure international laws are being followed.

The Foreign Secretary stressed Israel’s duty to let through much more humanitarian aid to Gaza’s people.

The Yedioth Ahronoth paper also shared that British legal experts went to Israel to look into the situation and advised that the Red Cross should be allowed visits with all prisoners, including those from Hamas.

Alicia Kearns, who chairs the foreign affairs committee, told LBC radio that the government’s verdict on Israel sticking to international law and whether arms sales will continue is expected to be out “within the week”.

“Last week and this week, I’ve been pushing for answers on whether our view on Israel’s compliance with international law has changed. They told me the assessment is ongoing and they’ll report back to the house soon,” she said.

“And if we don’t get the update in a week, it’d be a big shock.”

The potential confrontation by Lord Cameron with Israel is part of wider international efforts to stave off a worsening humanitarian crisis in Gaza.

Canada’s parliament has already put a stop to future arms sales to Israel, backed by a non-binding vote earlier this week.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, has called out Israel for its legal duty to tackle the severe humanitarian needs of the Palestinians in Gaza.

The Most Rev Justin Welby criticized Israel for blocking aid, claiming that without change, a famine could happen soon, with kids already dying from lack of food and water.

He stated: “The way Israel is conducting this war has wreaked havoc on Gaza’s infrastructure, which is vital for human survival.”

The UK’s still hush-hush about the arms export licenses it’s given to Israel for the end of last year, details to come later this year. In 2022, the UK’s exports to Israel were worth £42 million.

A spokesperson from the Foreign, Commonwealth & Development Office (FCDO) mentioned: “We’re constantly reviewing our advice on Israel’s compliance with International Humanitarian Law and will act based on that advice.

“Every application for an export license is judged individually against the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria.”

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