THERE is growing pressure on the UK Government to suspend arms sales to Israel, with a letter that has been signed by more than 600 lawyers, including former Supreme Court justices, published on Wednesday night.

The letter said the UK Government risks breaching international law "including potential violations of the Genocide Convention" by continuing to allow the export of weapons to Israel.

It comes as the World Central Kitchen charity (WCK) calls for an “independent investigation into the IDF strikes that killed seven members” of its team in Gaza on Monday.

British victims John Chapman, 57, James “Jim” Henderson, 33, and James Kirby, 47, were among the seven who died in the attack.

READ MORE: SNP must keep up pressure on UK over Israeli arms sales

The WCK statement asked the governments of Australia, Canada, the United States of America, Poland, and the United Kingdom to join them in a third-party investigation into the attacks and “whether they were carried out intentionally or otherwise violated international law”.

Signatories of the legal letter, including former Supreme Court president Lady Hale, said the worsening situation in Gaza and the International Court of Justice’s conclusion that there is a “plausible risk of genocide” obliges the UK to suspend arms sales to the country.

Former Supreme Court justices Lord Sumption and Lord Wilson have also signed, along with nine other judges and 69 senior barristers.

The letter calls on the UK Government to “exert its influence to secure a ceasefire in Gaza and the West Bank” and secure the release of hostages.

It adds: “We also call on the Government immediately to halt the export of weapons from the UK to Israel, given the clear risk that they might be used to commit serious violations of international humanitarian law in breach of the UK’s domestic Strategic Export Licensing Criteria, 86 including its obligations under the Arms Trade Treaty.

“We recall that UK nationals responsible for aiding and abetting international crimes, as well as those committing them as primary perpetrators, are liable for prosecution in the UK pursuant to the Geneva Conventions Act 1957 and the International Criminal Court Act 2001.”

WCK’s chief executive officer Erin Gore and executive co-chairman/treasurer Javier Garcia said in a joint statement: “On April 1, 2024, the Israeli Defence Forces killed seven humanitarian aid workers employed by World Central Kitchen (WCK), an internationally recognised humanitarian organization.

READ MORE: Families of British aid workers killed in Gaza pay tribute

“The aid workers killed were nationals of Australia, Canada/US (dual citizen), Gaza, Poland, and the United Kingdom. Israel has admitted to the killings but called it a ‘a tragic event in which our forces unintentionally harmed non-combatants and something that ‘happens in war’.

“This was a military attack that involved multiple strikes and targeted three WCK vehicles. All three vehicles were carrying civilians; they were marked as WCK vehicles; and their movements were in full compliance with Israeli authorities, who were aware of their itinerary, route, and humanitarian mission.”

The charity said it has asked the Israeli government to immediately keep all documents, communications, video and audio recordings relevant to the strikes.

“An independent investigation is the only way to determine the truth of what happened, ensure transparency and accountability for those responsible, and prevent future attacks on humanitarian aid workers,” the statement added.

On Tuesday, Downing Street declined to say whether it believed Israel was operating within international humanitarian law, saying it would not comment on legal advice but added ministers acted in accordance with any advice.

The SNP and the Liberal Democrats have also called for arms exports to be suspended, as have Conservative MPs Flick Drummond and David Jones following a similar plea from Lord Ricketts, the former national security adviser to now-Foreign Secretary David Cameron.