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Civil servants threaten action over UK arms sales to Israel

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Civil servants threaten action over UK arms sales to Israel

A union representing civil servants has said it is “seriously considering taking legal action” in relation to the UK’s arms sales to Israel.

A union representing civil servants has said it is “seriously considering taking legal action” in relation to the UK’s arms sales to Israel.

Civil servants within the Department of Business and Trade involved with arms exports have raised concerns over their own degree of legal liability if Israel is found to be violating international humanitarian law.

The Government has faced increasing calls to halt arms sales to Israel after three British aid workers were killed in an attack by the Israeli Defence Forces (IDF).

MPs have also been demanding that the Government publishes what legal advice it has received in relation to whether Israel is violating international humanitarian law.

President Joe Biden has told Israel’s prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu that future US support for the war in Gaza will depend on new steps to protect civilians and aid workers.

Paul O’Connor, head of bargaining at PCS, said: “The International Court of Justice considers that some of the alleged acts by Israel in Gaza could potentially be considered within the provisions of the Genocide Convention.

“PCS concurs with that view. We believe that the UK government has an obligation to do all it can to halt the onslaught. As it does not appear to be willing to do so, we are seriously considering taking legal action to prevent our members from being forced to carry out unlawful acts.

“We do not take such cases lightly and we only do so where we have a reasonable prospect of winning.”

More than 30,000 people have been killed in Gaza, the majority of which are women and children, since the war began after a Hamas attack on October 7.

The Government said advice in relation to Israel’s conduct in Gaza is “under review”.

A government spokesperson said: “We keep advice on Israel’s adherence to International Humanitarian Law under review and will act in accordance with that advice.

“All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the Strategic Export Licensing Criteria.”

Published: by Radio NewsHub

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