Israel is carrying out a murderous assault against protesting Palestinians, with its armed forces killing and maiming demonstrators who pose no imminent threat to them. Since March 30th alone Israel has killed more than 130 Palestinian civilians and wounded over 13,000, including children, journalists and health workers.
In recently published investigation, Human Rights Watch asserts that:
“Israeli forces’ repeated use of lethal force in the Gaza Strip since March 30, 2018, against Palestinian demonstrators who posed no imminent threat to life may amount to war crimes”
and calls on third countries to impose targeted sanctions against officials responsible for the ongoing serious human rights violations in the Gaza Strip.
Israel has a documented record of breaching international humanitarian and human rights law and this has resulted in repeated war crimes and crimes against humanity. States and inter-state organizations, such as the European Union, have a legal obligation to ensure that Israel complies with international law, but they have repeatedly failed to do so.
Israel uses military force to maintain an unlawful regime of occupation, colonialism and apartheid. Impunity emboldens Israel while its international military trade relations bankroll and strengthen its continued violence, militarism and colonialism.
Amnesty International has renewed its call on governments worldwide to impose a comprehensive arms embargo on Israel. Magdalena Mughrabi, Deputy Regional Director for the Middle East and North Africa at Amnesty International stated that
“The time for symbolic statements of condemnation is now over. The international community must act concretely and stop the delivery of arms and military equipment to Israel. A failure to do so will continue to fuel serious human rights abuses against thousands of men, women and children suffering the consequences of life under Israel’s cruel blockade of Gaza”
In an emergency meeting the United Nations General Assembly adopted a resolution calling for greater protection for Palestinians, and deploring any use of “excessive, disproportionate and indiscriminate” force by the Israeli military against Palestinian civilians, particularly in Gaza.
As committed trade unionist we defend the right of all peoples to a life with dignity and free from violence. Therefore, and in light of the above, the European Trade Union Initiative for Justice in Palestine as a principled platform calls upon European trade unions to support this call for a mandatory, comprehensive military embargo on Israel and to pressure European governments and European private and public companies and institutions, to:
- Immediately halt all arms trade and military cooperation with Israel and its military industry, because of the repeat attacks by the latter on Palestinian civilians and civilian infrastructure and the high risk that military cooperation with, and (components of) weapons supplied to the Israeli army will be used to commit serious breaches of the Geneva Conventions of 1949 or other war crimes and/or crimes against humanity typified in international agreements;
- Immediately exclude all Israeli military and security companies from the EU framework programs, given that an analysis of past projects has shown that their participation in these programs inherently involves EU support for the development and legitimisation of and profiting from technology and methodology used by Israel in the context of war crimes and human rights violations;