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Boris Johnson criticises David Cameron over Israel

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Boris Johnson criticises David Cameron over Israel

The former prime minister says it would be ‘insane’ for the UK to stop selling arms to the country

Former prime minister Boris Johnson has criticised Lord David Cameron for his response to the debate on UK arms sales to Israel, saying the Foreign Secretary had “gone into a kind of purdah” on the issue.

Three Britons were among the seven World Central Kitchen (WCK) aid workers who were killed in airstrikes in Gaza carried out by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF) on Monday.

Israeli officials have dismissed two officers over the strikes, which were described as a “grave mistake stemming from a serious failure”.

Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron said the UK will carefully review findings of the initial IDF report into the incident released on Friday.

He said: “Lessons must be learnt from today’s initial findings from the IDF. It’s clear major reform of Israel’s deconfliction mechanism is badly needed to ensure the safety of aid workers.”

The incident has led to widespread calls from MPs from all major parties to end UK arms sales to Israel, as well as a letter signed by more than 600 lawyers, including former Supreme Court justices.

In his column in The Daily Mail, Mr Johnson said it was “shattering” to see deaths of three British aid workers, but that Israel was sending warnings of their attacks and “trying to use precision munitions”.

He said: “If the West continues to crumble — and especially if Britain and the US crumble — then the Israelis will be prevented from getting into Rafah. They will be prevented from achieving their objective: of finishing Hamas as a military force in Gaza.”

He added: “Is that really what you want, all you legal experts who say that Israel’s actions now necessitate an arms embargo? Do you want to hand victory to a bunch of murderers and rapists?”

The former prime minister concluded that the banning of arms sales would be “insane” and “shameful”.

He added: “The sooner the Government formally denounces the idea, the better.”

Alicia Kearns, the Conservative chairwoman of the Foreign Affairs Select Committee, had said it was “devastating” that it had taken six months and the deaths of western aid workers for Israel to change course over the supply of international humanitarian aid.

Ms Kearns said she believed the Government had “no choice but to suspend arms sales” amid concerns about how Israel may be using British-made weapons.

On Friday, thousands of pro-Palestinian protesters marched through central London for the annual Al Quds Day demonstration.

Meanwhile, President Joe Biden has written letters to the leaders of Egypt and Qatar, calling on them to press Hamas for a hostage deal with Israel, according to a senior administration official.

The letters, to Egyptian president Abdel Fattah el-Sisim and Qatar’s ruling emir, Sheikh Tamim bin Hamad Al Thani, come as Mr Biden has deployed CIA director Bill Burns to Cairo for talks this weekend about the hostage crisis.

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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