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British FM Cameron says UK won’t stop arms sales to Israel, says move would ‘strengthen Hamas’

Cameron says hostage deal is ‘right answer’ to achieve ceasefire

UK Foreign Secretary David Cameron in an interview on Sky News (Photo: Screenshot)

In an interview with Trevor Phillips of Sky News, British Foreign Secretary David Cameron said an arms embargo against Israel would not be “a wise path.” 

Cameron responded to critics of the United Kingdom's decision not to halt arms sales to Israel following multiple complaints and accusations by non-governmental organizations working in Gaza that the IDF is violating international law. 

“If you're saying to me, 'Why not have a, you know, political declaration now to have an immediate arms embargo?'" Cameron said, “I was pressed to do that a few months ago and the very next thing that happened, just a few days later, was a massive Iranian attack on Israel, including 140 cruise missiles.” 

“So, I don't think it would have been a wise path, and I still don't think it would be a wise path,” Cameron continued. 

The UK foreign secretary also said that such a move would “strengthen Hamas.” 

“If I announced that today, it might help me get through this television interview, but actually it would strengthen Hamas, it would weaken Israel,” he stated, continuing, “I think it would probably make a hostage deal less likely.” 

In April, while speaking at a news conference in Washington D.C., Cameron confirmed that the UK would not restrict arms sales to Israel. 

“On Israel and international humanitarian law, as required by the UK's robust arms export control regime, I have now reviewed the most recent advice about the situation in Gaza and Israeli conduct of their military campaign,” Cameron stated at the time. 

“The latest assessment leaves our position on export licenses unchanged. This is consistent with the advice that I and other ministers have received. As ever, we will keep the position under review.” 

However, Cameron said the government continued “to have to have grave concerns around the humanitarian access issue in Gaza.” 

In the Sky News interview, Cameron suggested that the UK and the U.S. face different circumstances regarding arms sales to Israel.

“The United States is a massive bulk state supplier of weapons to Israel, including, you know, 1,000-pound bombs and all the rest of it,” Cameron stated. “The UK provides less than 1% of Israel's weapons and is not a state supplier. We have a licensing system, and those licenses can be closed if it's judged there's a serious risk of a serious international human rights violation.” 

Cameron closed the interview by stating the UK would continue a “rigorous process” of ensuring compliance with international law, saying: “So, I don't think some sort of political declaration is the right answer. We should stick with our rigorous process of making sure we act within the law.” 

The All Israel News Staff is a team of journalists in Israel.

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