Open letter to state parties of Arms Trade Treaty calls for arms embargo on Israel

The signatories, which include rights organizations and members of civil society, called on the signatories of the Arms Trade Treaty to end the supply of conventional arms, munitions, parts and components to Israel

September 06, 2021 by Peoples Dispatch
Photo: Twitter

Over 100 international rights organizations and civil society members, in an open letter, called upon the countries that are party to the Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) to impose an arms embargo on Israel for its violations of the human rights of Palestinians and international humanitarian law. The signatories said that it was the signatories’ legal and moral obligation “to put an end to irresponsible and often complicit trade of conventional arms that undermines international peace and security, facilitates commission of egregious crimes, and threatens the international legal order.” 

Organizations including Adalah Justice Project, Addameer Prisoner Support and Human Rights Association, Al Mezan Center for Human Rights, US Campaign for the Academic and Cultural Boycott of Israel, The Israeli Committee Against House Demolitions and Jewish Voice for Peace are signatories to the letter.

The letter mentions several recent cases of Israeli violence against Palestinians, such as the airstrikes on Gaza that lasted 11 days. They also noted the wave of ongoing Israeli attacks on Palestinian residents in several East Jerusalem neighborhoods, such as Sheikh Jarrah.

The signatories called on all ATT parties to “immediately terminate any current, and prohibit any future transfers of conventional arms, munitions, parts and components … to Israel until it ends its illegal belligerent occupation of the occupied Palestinian territory and complies fully with its obligations under international law. Pending such an embargo, all States must immediately suspend all transfers of military equipment, assistance and munitions to Israel.” 

The letter cites Articles 6 (3), 7 and 11 of the ATT that prohibit the transfer of arms when used to commit genocide, crimes against humanity, or other war crimes as defined by international agreements to which they are a party. It also highlights that failing to act according to the ATT and international law only contributes to the ever-increasing suffering of the Palestinian people. The letter also warned that states that fail to act according to the ATT and international law would also be at risk of their own citizens facing prosecution at the International Criminal Court for violations of the Rome Statute for their roles in aiding and abetting Israel’s war crimes and crimes against humanity.