Next government must immediately halt arms sales to Israel, say Greens

The next UK Government must immediately halt arms exports to Israel, the Scottish Greens will say at an election event in Edinburgh.

The party’s co-leader, Lorna Slater, said both the Conservatives and Labour are refusing to back a weapons embargo despite the “catastrophic” humanitarian situation in the Gaza Strip.

Her party’s General Election manifesto has called for an end to arms sales to human rights abusers.

Speaking in Glasgow last month, Defence Secretary Grant Shapps said the UK does not make defence exports to Israel in any “meaningful number”.

Sir Keir Starmer has suggested legal advice on arms sales to Israel would be reviewed if Labour are in government.

Ahead of the event in central Edinburgh on Tuesday, Ms Slater said: “For the last eight months, the Tories have armed and supported the brutal bombardment of Gaza. The human cost has been catastrophic.

“The arms sales and political support the Tories have offered has actively fuelled and enabled the destruction, which has killed tens of thousands of people and led the International Court of Justice to open genocide investigations.

“Labour hasn’t been any better. They began by supporting Israel’s right to collectively punish the people of Gaza, cutting off water, food and electricity.

“Now they say they want a ceasefire, but they have hidden behind the Tories and refused to back calls for a weapons embargo.

“I don’t understand how anybody could look at the images and the footage coming from Gaza and think that it is OK to continue to arm and support the war.”