Biden sends 2,000 more bombs to Israel; Britain under increased pressure to stop such arms sales

Hours before attack in which 7 aid workers were killed, US approved sending more bombs to Israel; 3 of the dead were British citizens; Now some 600 jurists in the UK demand halt to arms sales to the IDF; 'We will be complicit in genocide'
International pressure on Israel is increasing in the shadow of the unintentional airstrike in central Gaza Strip, in which seven workers of the international aid organization World Central Kitchen were killed, and in Britain there are now growing calls to stop arms sales to Israel's military. At the same time, in the United States just hours before that attack on Monday night, the Biden administration approved sending another 2,000 bombs to Israel as part of the agreements already approved in the past.
In Britain, three former Supreme Court justices have joined more than 600 members of the British legal profession in calling for the government to halt arms sales to Israel, saying it could make Britain complicit in "genocide" in Gaza.
Their call was also backed by two of the country's leading intelligence experts, who argued that Britain needed to use any leverage it could to persuade Israel, and its biggest backer – the United States, to change course in the conflict.
3 View gallery
 US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak differ in their opinions of arms sales to Israel
 US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak differ in their opinions of arms sales to Israel
US President Joe Biden and UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak differ in their opinions of arms sales to Israel
(Photos: Yoav Zitun, AP/Stephanie Scarbrough, Getty Images/Danny Lawson)
The British government has been a staunch ally of Israel since the start of the war against Hamas in Gaza on October 7, but Foreign Secretary David Cameron has hardened his language in recent months over the humanitarian situation in Gaza.
Cameron said on March 8 that Israel had to be compliant with international humanitarian law in order for Britain to grant export licenses allowing arms sales to Israel, and that a judgement on that was underway and due in the "coming days."
The Foreign Office said on Thursday it kept advice on Israel's adherence to the law under review but that the content of government advice was confidential.
Senior members of Britain's legal profession said the government needed to halt sales now to avoid "aiding and assisting an international wrongful act".
"The provision of military assistance and material to Israel may render the UK complicit in genocide as well as serious breaches of International Humanitarian Law," the judges, barristers and legal academics said in a 17-page letter to Prime Minister Rishi Sunak.
One of the former justices, Jonathan Sumption, told BBC Radio he was concerned the British government had lost sight of its own obligations under international law.
Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has called any suggestion of genocide as "outrageous", and has said Israel has an "unwavering commitment to international law."
3 View gallery
בריטניה מנהיג הלייבור קיר סטארמר סטרמר פרלמנט
בריטניה מנהיג הלייבור קיר סטארמר סטרמר פרלמנט
United Kingdom Labor leader Keir Starmer addresses British Parliament
(Photo: AFP)
Sunak has resisted calls to immediately halt weapons sales to Israel, saying the government adheres to a "very careful licensing regime."
But the killing of seven aid workers, including three British nationals, in Israeli airstrikes this week has ratcheted up the pressure. Israel said they were mistakenly targeted.
Britain licenses the sale of British-made explosive devices, assault rifles and components for military aircraft to Israel but it is a relatively small supplier, with Israeli exports making up about 0.4% of Britain's total global defense sales in 2022, the last full-year data available.
Two senior figures in Britain's intelligence community - former national security adviser Peter Ricketts and Alex Younger, the former head of the MI6 foreign spy service - have said those sales should be used as leverage.
Ricketts said there was "now abundant evidence" that Israel was not compliant with international humanitarian law and that a ban would send a message that could stir debate in Washington.
Younger told the BBC that Britain needed to "achieve leverage, and create incentives for more focus to be put on the issue of what is technically called collateral damage but what we would call as killing innocent civilians."
3 View gallery
שגרירת ישראל ב בריטניה ציפי חוטובלי ריאיון ל סקיי ניוז
שגרירת ישראל ב בריטניה ציפי חוטובלי ריאיון ל סקיי ניוז
Israel's ambassador to the UK Tzipi Hotovely
Earlier this week, Alicia Kearns, the Conservative chair of parliament's foreign affairs select committee, said ministers had been told by their lawyers that Israel had violated international law in its war in Gaza.
The government has in the past blocked sales to Israel, such as in 2009 when it revoked some licenses and in 1982 when there was a formal restriction, opens new tab on weapon sales after the invasion of Lebanon.
The debate in Britain regarding arms sales to Israel comes in the shadow of growing international pressure on it, and this question has arisen in other countries that are considered friendly to Jerusalem. Last month, Canada also announced that it would stop future arms sales to Israel. A Dutch court also banned the sale of F-35 aircraft parts to Israel, but the Dutch government announced that it intends to appeal the decision.
In the US, President Joe Biden also rejects calls to halt arms sales to Israel, which are increasing there, but according to reports this is being considered to one degree or another within his administration in the event that Israel embarks on an extensive operation in Rafah without American support.
The Washington Post reported on Thursday that arms shipments from the U.S. to Israel are continuing, and that Washington approved sending to Israel 1,000 Type 82 bombs, weighing 225 kg, and another 1,000 smaller bombs as well as fuses for the Type 80 bombs. According to the report, this approval was given by the State Department on the same day that the attack took place in which WCK workers were killed, but the State Department emphasized that the approval was made a few hours before. Congress, it should be noted, has already approved these deals in the past.
The commenter agrees to the privacy policy of Ynet News and agrees not to submit comments that violate the terms of use, including incitement, libel and expressions that exceed the accepted norms of freedom of speech.