Thu 20 Jun 2024 9:22 pm - Jerusalem Time

UN experts warn arms companies against involvement in war crimes in Gaza

On Thursday, a group of United Nations experts warned arms and ammunition manufacturing companies against participating in sending weapons to Israel, stressing that this could make them involved in violations of human rights and international law.

The group, made up of 30 experts, including several UN special rapporteurs, stressed the need for manufacturing companies that supply Israel with military equipment to stop sending it “even if it is under valid export licenses.”

The experts said - in a statement - that “by sending weapons, spare parts, components and ammunition to Israeli forces, these companies risk being involved in serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law.”

Experts said that the risks for arms companies had increased since the International Court of Justice ordered Israel last month to stop its military attack in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, and issued a historic emergency ruling in the lawsuit filed by South Africa, which accuses Israel of committing genocide.

The experts added, "In this regard, continuing to send weapons to Israel may constitute intentional assistance to carry out operations that violate international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and may lead to profiteering from this assistance."

Warning message

On the other hand, the British newspaper The Guardian reported that activists sent a warning letter to the managers of 20 arms manufacturers in Britain, warning that they may face criminal liability for failing to prevent war crimes if their companies continue to sell military equipment to Israel.

Activists also considered that the British government's continued permitting of arms sales to Israel does not exempt the managers of these companies from criminal responsibility.

It is noteworthy that the United Nations Human Rights Office had confirmed - yesterday, Wednesday - that Israeli forces may have repeatedly violated the laws of war, and did not distinguish between civilians and combatants in the war on the Gaza Strip, which Israel rejected and described these results as flawed.

Israel previously rejected being accused by the International Criminal Court of committing genocide in Gaza, describing it as “false allegations.”


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UN experts warn arms companies against involvement in war crimes in Gaza