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Tuesday, May 21, 2024

Amnesty calls for Israel-Gaza arms embargo

Belgian trade unions have already refused to handle weapons destined for Israel

The branch of Amnesty International for the Middle East and North Africa called on Wednesday for embargoing weapons deliveries to both Israel and Hamas to protect civilians in Gaza.

“We’ve called for an arms embargo on all parties to the conflict in [Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories],” Amnesty MENA said on X (formerly Twitter).

Read more: Muslim World League condemns Israeli army’s assault on the Jabalia camp

The group endorsed the strike of four Belgian trade unions, which are reportedly “blocking weapons transfers to Israel in response to ongoing unlawful attacks” that have killed and injured thousands of civilians in Gaza.

“Others should follow suit!” Amnesty MENA added.

Accompanying the post was a call by four Belgian unions – FGTB, ACV, CSC, and BBTK/SETCa – to “refuse the handling of military supplies used by the war in Palestine.”

Hardest hit by the hypothetical embargo would be the US and Germany, who are Israel’s biggest arms suppliers, according to the Stockholm International Peace and Research Institute (SPRI).

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Washington began sending Israel ammunition and other supplies immediately after the October 7 Hamas attack, which West Jerusalem said claimed the lives of 1,400 Israelis, with 200 more taken hostage. The White House has requested Congress to approve another $14 billion in aid to Israel, which is still pending.

According to the Gaza Health Ministry, almost 8,800 Palestinians have been killed and over 22,000 wounded since Israel declared war on Hamas in response to the incursion, shelling and bombing the enclave before sending in ground troops.