Analysis: Why arms sales to Israel should be banned? - M5 Dergi
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Analysis: Why arms sales to Israel should be banned?

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International human rights architecture is creaking under weight of hypocrisy of states who profess absolute support for rules-based order yet who continue to facilitate this war by providing weapons to Israel to kill more innocent Palestinians.

There are no legal or moral arguments that can justify the continued sale of weapons to Israel by states that respect the principle of the universality of human rights. Palestinian human rights defenders have emphasized to me the importance of ban being placed on such sales, given Israel has demonstrated time and again the casual abandon with which it uses weapons to indiscriminately kill Palestinians. Any claims of self-defense in reaction to Hamas’ illegal, immoral and appalling acts of savagery on Oct. 7 have long since been invalidated by the disproportionally of the response. There are instead ideological arguments to justify the continued sale of weapons, which I can only conclude place the value of Israeli lives over and above the value of Palestinian lives. This is unconscionable.

Human rights defenders work to uphold the rights agreed upon as universal in the 1948 Universal Declaration on Human Rights (UDHR) and codified in the various covenants and treaties adopted since then. Last December to mark the 75th anniversary of the UDHR, over 150 states made pledges, [1] outlining how they would make those rights a reality. Some of the strongest pledges came from the United States (US), the United Kingdom (UK), Germany, France and Canada, all of whom highlighted their steadfast support for human rights defenders. Yet these same states continue [2] to provide arm to Israel, with devastating consequences for human rights and human rights defenders.

Human rights defenders are targeted by Israel

On Saturday, I received the awful news that another two women human rights defenders, along with dozens of their family members, had been killed [3] by Israeli bombs. Nour Naser Abu Al-Nour and Dana Yaghy both worked for the Palestinian Centre for Human Rights, where they document violations against women and children. I knew Nour personally and also know that in her last days, she continued to gather testimony to add to the ever mounting evidence of war crimes [4] committed by Israel.

They are two of thousands of women killed in what must be described as a war on women and children. They account for a reported 70% of the nearly 30,000 Palestinian dead. Canada, France and Germany have all proudly declared that they have a Feminist Foreign Policy, which “should aspire to transforming the practice of foreign policy to the greater benefit of women and girls everywhere”. [5] In its 2023 National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security, the USA states, [6] “Wherever the rights of women and girls are under threat, so, too, is democracy, peace, and stability.”

Other human rights defenders have been explicitly targeted, including journalists whose role in bearing witness to the horrors have helped us understand the levels of destruction being wreaked. Some have been killed at work, covering the conflict while clearly visible in press vests and helmets, and many had reportedly received death threats and intimidating messages from Israeli security forces before the attacks. This is also a war on journalists.

Earlier this month my colleagues in Special Procedures and I noted [7] that according to United Nations (UN) reports, since October 7 over 122 journalists and media workers had been killed in Gaza. The USA, UK, France, Canada and Germany are members of the Media Freedom Coalition, [8] all of whom have signed the Global Pledge on Media Freedom, which commits them to promoting media freedom at home and abroad. Germany is currently co-Chair.

A third category of human rights defenders killed by Israeli weapons are health workers as attacks against hospitals, medical facilities and ambulances continue as if there were no international legal prohibitions against such attacks. This is a war against humanitarian personnel.

Over 150 staff of the United Nations Relief Works Agency (UNRWA) have been killed [9] while 403 internally displaced persons sheltering in their premises have also been killed. Last week, a “clearly marked” Medicins Sans Frontier (MSF) shelter was attacked [10] in Al-Mawasi. The Israeli army had been provided with the precise location of the shelter by MSF. No warning was given by the Israeli army before the shelter was shelled. Two people were killed. The UN Security Council has adopted repeated resolutions [11] on the protection of humanitarian personnel in armed conflict. The USA, the UK and France hold permanent seats on the Security Council.

The international human rights architecture is creaking under the weight of the hypocrisy of states who profess absolute support for a rules-based order yet who continue to facilitate this war by providing weapons to Israel to kill more innocent Palestinians.

Above all, this is a war on human rights.

Source: AA

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