Labour students votes for suspension of UK arms exports to Israel as well as an ‘immediate ceasefire’

According to government figures, UK defence exports to Israel amounted to £42m in 2022.

Palestine demo

Labour students, the student wing of the Labour Party, has voted not only to call for an “immediate ceasefire” in Israel and Palestine but also to halt Britain’s arms sales to Israel.

LabourList reports that the body passed the motion earlier this week, in which it condemned the 7th October terror attacks by Hamas, called for the release of all hostages and ‘called on behalf of National Labour Students, for an immediate ceasefire and for the suspension of all UK arms exports to Israel.’

The Committee also noted that ‘while Israel has a right to defend itself against Hamas, Israeli action in recent months in Gaza has amounted to, as in the opinion of the UN Secretary-General, collective punishment of the Palestinian people. Collective punishment is against international law.’

The call for a halt to arms exports to Israel comes as a group of UN experts warned that ‘any transfer of weapons or ammunition to Israel that would be used in Gaza is likely to violate international humanitarian law and must cease immediately’.

Human Rights Watch, alongside a group of UK-based civil society groups working in and on the Occupied Palestinian Territory, have also written to the UK Government calling for an immediate halt to UK arms transfers to the government of Israel.

According to government figures, UK defence exports to Israel amounted to £42m in 2022.

The motion from Labour Students comes after the SNP had been hoping to put forward a new parliamentary motion which would mandate the government to take concrete steps to make a ceasefire happen, including using its position on the United Nations Security Council to vote for an immediate ceasefire and halting the sale of arms to Israel.

The SNP’s request has been rejected by the Speaker.

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