Al-Haq, a Palestinian human rights group based in Ramallah has filed suit against the United Kingdom over London’s continued trade with Israel following the recent offensive in Gaza.
According to Al-Haq, located along the West Bank, any trading with Israel, including the supply of arms, constitutes a violation of international law. The organization claims Israel violated international law during recent attacks on Gaza, including the use of White Phosphorous, a banned substance, against civilian targets.
The organization is demanding Britain suspend all trade with Tel Aviv, including financial and military assistance, until Israel can demonstrate full respect for their human rights obligations.
"International law is very clear on this issue”, stated Phil Shiner, a UK lawyer representing Al-Haq."All states are under an obligation not to render assistance and not to recognize the illegal situation [in Gaza] and to co-operate together by all lawful means to end that particular situation ... and to ensure respect for the Geneva Conventions. The UK government has gone completely in the wrong direction. It has increased its arms exports to Israel, it continues to import Israeli arms, it continues to invite Israeli arms manufacturers to arms fairs here".
"all that's in our way is that obviously it's a controversial topic”. Shiner continued. “Judges might be frightened of entering this territory but once they do the law is very clear".
In all, the lawsuit names three UK ministers, David Miliband, foreign minister, John Hutton, defence minister and Peter Mandelson, business minister.