Control Arms members have been campaigning for the protection of civilians in Israel and Gaza, and an end to arms supplies that fuel atrocities. Amnesty International is calling for a UN-imposed comprehensive arms
embargo on Israel, Hamas and other Palestinian armed groups. In the absence of a UN-imposed arms embargo, Amnesty International is also calling for states to unilaterally suspend arms transfers to Israel.
It is time for a UN-mandated international investigation into violations of international humanitarian law committed by all sides amidst Israel’s invasion of Gaza and indiscriminate rocket fire from Palestinian armed groups into Israel.
This week, UN Secretary Ban Ki-moon called Israeli bombing of a UN school a “criminal act” and a breach of international law. While Israel says it is targeting Hamas, the majority of casualties have been civilians.
All governments have a responsibility to adhere to international human rights and humanitarian law. The Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) has clear prohibitions on the transfer of arms and ammunitions where there is knowledge that the weapons will be used for violations of international law, as well as obligations to assess the risk of such violations taking place. All ATT signatories should be putting this into practice, even before the treaty formally enters into force.
Signature of the Arms Trade Treaty must not be an exercise in international public relations. Signatories must adhere to the provisions of the treaty and put an immediate end to all arms transfers that fuel atrocities.