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Palestinian rights group takes UK govt to court, British arms exports license to Israel under scrutiny

Palestine’s human rights group Al-Haq has knocked on the doors of a UK court over the British government's arms exports to Israel amidst the war in Gaza. The group is demanding that the British government stop its arms exports to Israel alleging that the Middle Eastern nation is waging human rights violations.

Palestinian rights group takes UK govt to court, British arms exports license to Israel under scrutiny avv
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First Published Jan 25, 2024, 6:34 PM IST

The Israeli action against Hamas in Gaza is drawing human rights groups to courts demanding action. A Palestinian rights group named Al-Haq and the Global Legal Action Network (GLAN) have taken the UK government to court demanding scrutinization of British arms export licenses to Israel. 

Al-Haq is advocating that Israel has unfairly treated Palestinians in the present war causing major violations of human rights. While Global Legal Action Network has supported the cause and has lent Al-Haq the legal support to fight the case in the UK court. Israel has imported weapons and parts of high-end systems for its war in Gaza.

GLAN's senior lawyer Dearbhla Minogue said, “This case is a test for the credibility of the national arms control system, including the role of the courts in monitoring that. International humanitarian law was designed to balance humanity with military necessity, and the government's approach drives a coach and horses through that cardinal objective.”

Al-Haq and GLAN have accused the UK government of going back on its own rules and regulations. The British arms export licensing criteria refrain the government from exporting weapons when there is a risk of international human rights violations. The coalition took this licensing criteria and made a case against the UK's inability to follow its own law.

A similar case was heard in the Hague where a group filed a case against the Netherlands government over arms export to Israel. The Hague court quashed the query and allowed the export to go on amidst the war in Gaza. The Hague court made the judgment stating it was a political issue and the judiciary could not interfere with it. The Netherlands is majorly exporting parts of F-35 Fighter jet to Israel.

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