David Cameron Says Banning UK Arms Sales To Israel Would Strengthen Hamas

Foreign secretary says Israel "permanently on notice" over Gaza offensive but rejects weapons export ban.
David Cameron
David Cameron

David Cameron has said cutting British arms sales to Israel would strengthen Hamas, as the government comes under pressure to impose an export ban.

The foreign secretary said Israel did not have a “clean bill of health” when it came to its military operations in Gaza.

But speaking to the BBC’s Sunday with Laura Kuenssberg programme, he said the government would not block weapons being sold.

“Just to simply announce today that we will change our approach on arms exports, it would make Hamas stronger and it would make a hostage deal less likely,” he said.

Cameron did say Israel was “permanently on notice” when it came to receiving weapons.

Joe Biden however has warned Israel the US will stop providing it with some weapons if it launches a major offensive into the Gaza city of Rafah.

“If they go into Rafah, I’m not supplying the weapons that have been used historically to deal with Rafah,” he told CNN.

Biden, long a staunch and unquestioning supporter of Israel, has come under intense pressure from Democrats to finally place conditions on military aid to the country.

It came as a US government report found “reasonable” evidence American-supplied weapons had been used by Israel to breach international law.

Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel’s prime minister, has indicated he is prepared to defy Biden. “If Israel is forced to stand alone, Israel will stand alone,” he said.

Rafah, where one million displaced Palestinians are sheltering, is one of the last remaining safe zones in Gaza.

Humanitarian groups fear a full-on Israeli invasion of the city would result in mass civilian deaths.

Israel launched its campaign in Gaza following the October 7 attacks by Hamas, in which around 1,200 people were killed and 252 others were taken hostage.

Since then, the Hamas-run health ministry has said more than 34,780 people have been killed in Gaza.


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