SNP MPs have joined with hundreds of parliamentarians from 13 countries which export arms or weapons parts to Israel calling for an immediate end to the practice.

More than 200 MPs have signed a letter from Progressive International (PI) saying they will “not be complicit in Israel’s grave violation of international law” and stressing that an “arms embargo has moved beyond a moral necessity to become a legal requirement”.

SNP MPs David Linden, Tommy Sheppard, and Philippa Whitford and Labour MPs such as Clive Lewis, Apsana Begum, and Sam Tarry are among the international parliamentarians to have put their name to the list, alongside representatives from the US, Germany, Canada, France, Spain, the Netherlands, Belgium, Brazil, Australia, Turkey, Portugal, and Ireland.

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The letter states: “We, the undersigned parliamentarians, declare our commitment to end our nations’ arms sales to the State of Israel.

“Our bombs and bullets must not be used to kill, maim, and dispossess Palestinians. But they are: we know that lethal weapons and their parts, made or shipped through our countries, currently aid the Israeli assault on Palestine that has claimed over 30,000 lives across Gaza and the West Bank.

“We cannot wait. Following the interim ruling by the International Court of Justice (ICJ) on the Genocide Convention case against the State of Israel, an arms embargo has moved beyond a moral necessity to become a legal requirement.

“We will not be complicit in Israel’s grave violation of international law.

“The ICJ ordered Israel not to kill, harm or ‘deliberately [inflict] on the [Palestinians] conditions of life calculated to bring about … physical destruction’. They have refused. Instead, they press on with a planned assault on Rafah that the Secretary General of the United Nations has warned will ‘exponentially increase what is already a humanitarian nightmare’.

“Today, we take a stand. We will take immediate and coordinated action in our respective legislatures to stop our countries from arming Israel.”

In late February, the UK Government declined to comment after a host of experts from the United Nations called for the export of weapons or weapon parts to Israel to stop “immediately”.

The UN experts warned that individual government officials could face prosecution “for aiding and abetting any war crimes, crimes against humanity or acts of genocide” through the export of arms.

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The Netherlands stopped exporting parts for F-35 fighter jets (like above) to Israel after its appeals court ruled there was a “clear risk” that the parts would be used to commit or facilitate serious violations of international humanitarian law.

The UK Government has consistently ignored calls to block exports of arms to Israel. It is estimated that the UK licensed arms worth over £442 million to Israel between May 2015 and August 2022, according to a data analysis by the Campaign Against Arms Trade (CAAT).

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UK ministers have pointed to the strategic export licensing system. This is where applications for licences to export weapons and other related items are assessed against criteria including obligations under international law and the potential for the goods to be used in the violation of human rights.

PI was founded by US politician Bernie Sanders and Greek former finance minister Yanis Varoufakis in 2018 with the aim of mobilising progressive, left-wing political movements across the world.

Click here to find the full list of signatories to PI’s letter on arming Israel.