Protesters call on Vince Cable to ban arms sales to Israel

EastEnder: John Altman hands the petition in at Vince Cable's office

EastEnder: John Altman hands the petition in at Vince Cable's office

First published in News
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Richmond and Twickenham Times: Photograph of the Author by , Reporter

Protesters have called for Vince Cable to ban all arms sales to Israel in the height of the conflict.

The pledge comes as the Government sold £8bn in arms and military goods to Israel.

Actor John Altman was among those who handed a letter to Vince Cable’s office in Twickenham, calling for him to ban the sale of all UK weapons and components to Israel and revoke all weapons licences.

He said: "I have been sickened by the extreme brutality of the Israeli regime in killing so many innocent civilians in Gaza and their destruction of homes, schools and medical facilities.

"It is shocking to learn that local MP Vince Cable is actually responsible for sanctioning UK weapons exports to Israel, which may well have been used in this current conflict."

Wendy Hatto, secretary of Twickenham and Richmond Amnesty Group, said weapons exported under the Business Secretary's remit went to some of most repressive regimes in the world.

The Hermes drone has been widely used during Operation Protective Edge, the ongoing Israeli military action in Gaza, to monitor Palestinians, pinpoint targets and guide in missile and smart bomb strikes, Ms Hatto said.

Ministers said they would not stop licensing military equipment to Israel outright because they believed the country had a "legitimate right to self-defence".

The contracts - mostly for cryptographic software and military communications, but also weapon parts - will be individually examined to ensure they are not being used for internal repression or the provocation of conflict.

Downing Street confirmed it was conducting the review after David Cameron gave his strongest comments yet on the crisis, saying the UN was right to condemn the shelling of schools as a "moral outrage".

Vince Cable said: "Both Nick Clegg and I agree that we should suspend export licences for military equipment that might be used by Israel in Gaza.

"We have been making this case inside Government but have not yet been able to get agreement for this position. I hope and expect that to change shortly."

Comments (7)

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8:46am Fri 8 Aug 14

hursthill says...

Why is there no mention in the article that the conflict began with Hamas firing a sustained barrage of rockets at Israeli civilians ?

3,000 + fired at Israel. Palestinian people are being held to ransom by Hamas. They take over civilian houses & fire rockets from children's bedroom windows at Israeli kids. They also fire rockets from hospitals & schools. This has been verified by reporters & the UN !

No country in the world would accept having it's population live in fear of rocket attacks. More rockets have been fired at Israel in 3 weeks then the Nazi's fired at London in the blitz !

Israel has like the UK has a legal & moral right to self-defence. We must support our ally Israel.

At the time of writting Hamas has broken a 3 day ceasefire, which Israel wanted to continue, & are again firing rockets into Israel. What should Israel do - let it's kids be murdered or defend itself !!!
Why is there no mention in the article that the conflict began with Hamas firing a sustained barrage of rockets at Israeli civilians ? 3,000 + fired at Israel. Palestinian people are being held to ransom by Hamas. They take over civilian houses & fire rockets from children's bedroom windows at Israeli kids. They also fire rockets from hospitals & schools. This has been verified by reporters & the UN ! No country in the world would accept having it's population live in fear of rocket attacks. More rockets have been fired at Israel in 3 weeks then the Nazi's fired at London in the blitz ! Israel has like the UK has a legal & moral right to self-defence. We must support our ally Israel. At the time of writting Hamas has broken a 3 day ceasefire, which Israel wanted to continue, & are again firing rockets into Israel. What should Israel do - let it's kids be murdered or defend itself !!! hursthill
  • Score: 2

3:25pm Fri 8 Aug 14

bandit63 says...

The rockets were fired after the ceasefire and there have been minimal casualties from all rocket firing. This is NOT a support of Hamas, just a factual correction. Whilst hijacking peoples homes and firing rockets near schools / hospitals is a horrible tactic, there is NO excuse for shelling UN (and clearly marked UN) facilities murdering (your terminology not mine) women and children. Killing fighters /terrorists on both sides is one thing - an unacceptably large number of civlians have been maimed / lost their lives 99% on the Gaza side. It happens in all conflicts. Israel should try more hearts and minds apporach to solving this conflict, and organisations like hamas should back off. Feel like grabbing both sides and banging heads together - just wish all sides could get on with each other
The rockets were fired after the ceasefire and there have been minimal casualties from all rocket firing. This is NOT a support of Hamas, just a factual correction. Whilst hijacking peoples homes and firing rockets near schools / hospitals is a horrible tactic, there is NO excuse for shelling UN (and clearly marked UN) facilities murdering (your terminology not mine) women and children. Killing fighters /terrorists on both sides is one thing - an unacceptably large number of civlians have been maimed / lost their lives 99% on the Gaza side. It happens in all conflicts. Israel should try more hearts and minds apporach to solving this conflict, and organisations like hamas should back off. Feel like grabbing both sides and banging heads together - just wish all sides could get on with each other bandit63
  • Score: 1

8:39pm Fri 8 Aug 14

hursthill says...

FACTUAL CORRECTION for bandtit63 - :

The reason there has been minimal deaths from Hamas rockets is because Israel has built shelters for it's people, whilst hamas has built shelters for it's rockets.

That does not protect Israelis from the daily fear & trauma when they have 15 seconds to reach a shelter when the siren sounds.

When you imply bandtit that Israel targets UN facilities, I feel like grabbing your head & banging it. Mistakes happen in war. Our country killed German civilians accidently, whilst trying to stop Nazi rockets in the Blitz.

Bandtit has to wish Hamas stops firing rockets & there will be peace !
FACTUAL CORRECTION for bandtit63 - : The reason there has been minimal deaths from Hamas rockets is because Israel has built shelters for it's people, whilst hamas has built shelters for it's rockets. That does not protect Israelis from the daily fear & trauma when they have 15 seconds to reach a shelter when the siren sounds. When you imply bandtit that Israel targets UN facilities, I feel like grabbing your head & banging it. Mistakes happen in war. Our country killed German civilians accidently, whilst trying to stop Nazi rockets in the Blitz. Bandtit has to wish Hamas stops firing rockets & there will be peace ! hursthill
  • Score: 0

8:51pm Fri 8 Aug 14

EdwinaWaugh says...

Let's be honest. Few give a **** about Israelis being killed, they are more concerned with sucking up to moslem fanatics. Christians can be slaughtered in Iraq and Syria, but evil idiots like Galloway just cry crocodile tears for the Hamas. They don't want their heads chopped off by ISIS and other fanatics.
Let's be honest. Few give a **** about Israelis being killed, they are more concerned with sucking up to moslem fanatics. Christians can be slaughtered in Iraq and Syria, but evil idiots like Galloway just cry crocodile tears for the Hamas. They don't want their heads chopped off by ISIS and other fanatics. EdwinaWaugh
  • Score: -2

11:09pm Sat 9 Aug 14

jeremyhm says...

I very much look forward to the next demonstration, ie against those supplying Hamas (a well-defined terrorist organization) with rockets. Please let me know when this is to be held
I very much look forward to the next demonstration, ie against those supplying Hamas (a well-defined terrorist organization) with rockets. Please let me know when this is to be held jeremyhm
  • Score: 1

9:46pm Sun 10 Aug 14

metis says...

jeremyhm wrote:
I very much look forward to the next demonstration, ie against those supplying Hamas (a well-defined terrorist organization) with rockets. Please let me know when this is to be held
Those supplying Hamas.... Hmmm Hamas it seems are very adept at diverting donations for building infrastructure (schools, hospitals houses etc) towards their military arsenal, whilst most of their populace live in abject poverty. While a lot of their rockets used to come from Iran, they are now negotiating with the North Koreans. Nice friends to have eh?
[quote][p][bold]jeremyhm[/bold] wrote: I very much look forward to the next demonstration, ie against those supplying Hamas (a well-defined terrorist organization) with rockets. Please let me know when this is to be held[/p][/quote]Those supplying Hamas.... Hmmm Hamas it seems are very adept at diverting donations for building infrastructure (schools, hospitals houses etc) towards their military arsenal, whilst most of their populace live in abject poverty. While a lot of their rockets used to come from Iran, they are now negotiating with the North Koreans. Nice friends to have eh? metis
  • Score: 3

12:23pm Mon 11 Aug 14

bandit63 says...

ok what point did I say it's fine to fire rockets on Israel? I didn't. It's intolerable for both sides in this conflict. My point is that innocents on both sides are being affected and killed - Israeli's under the threat of rockets and Palestinians (both christian and muslim!!) are be killed.

Modern warfare allows for far more accuracy, so comparing it to the blitz is not a great example - firing on UN sites in not acceptable (once by accident is understandable but 3 or 4 times? that raises eyebrows.)

Hamas needs to stop what it's doing but Israel needs to be more measured in it's targeting - destroying power and water supplies for the ordinary person just breeds more extremists.

Finally - whilst I would argue it's far too late, glad to see that the west is helping to stem the ISIS "surge" and it appears to be having some effect (so Edwina - noone cares eh?) They should carry this on into the strongholds in Syria, but that will drag Russia into the Syrian conflict even deeper.

The west needs to get more creative in cutting off supplies to these groups. They are getting funds , recruits and weapons from somewhere. I guess a lot of the effort is going on in the backlground but we could do a lot better.

Basically, the whole thing is a mess
ok what point did I say it's fine to fire rockets on Israel? I didn't. It's intolerable for both sides in this conflict. My point is that innocents on both sides are being affected and killed - Israeli's under the threat of rockets and Palestinians (both christian and muslim!!) are be killed. Modern warfare allows for far more accuracy, so comparing it to the blitz is not a great example - firing on UN sites in not acceptable (once by accident is understandable but 3 or 4 times? that raises eyebrows.) Hamas needs to stop what it's doing but Israel needs to be more measured in it's targeting - destroying power and water supplies for the ordinary person just breeds more extremists. Finally - whilst I would argue it's far too late, glad to see that the west is helping to stem the ISIS "surge" and it appears to be having some effect (so Edwina - noone cares eh?) They should carry this on into the strongholds in Syria, but that will drag Russia into the Syrian conflict even deeper. The west needs to get more creative in cutting off supplies to these groups. They are getting funds , recruits and weapons from somewhere. I guess a lot of the effort is going on in the backlground but we could do a lot better. Basically, the whole thing is a mess bandit63
  • Score: 2

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