Latest News

The accomplices with the sale of arms

2024-04-02 22:14:56

The Chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee of the British House of Commons, Conservative Alicia Kearns, according to an audio broadcast by The Observer newspaper last Sunday, warned: “The Foreign Office [Ministeri d’Afers Estrangers] has received official legal advice that Israel has violated international humanitarian law, but the Govt [del primer ministre conservador, Rishi Sunak] he hasn’t announced it. He has not said it, they have not stopped arms exports.” The parliamentarian clarified to the newspaper: “I am convinced that the Government has completed its advice on whether Israel is fulfilling its commitment to international humanitarian law and has concluded that Israel does not. Transparency on this point is fundamental to sustaining the rules of the international order.”

In Madrid, a spokeswoman for the Spanish Ministry of Foreign Affairs, to questions from this newspaper yesterday about arms exports to Israel, said: “We stand by the statement we published last February.” In the aforementioned communication on the sale of arms to Israel, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the European Union and Cooperation “reports that since October 7, 2023, no arms sale operation has been authorized to Israel”.

This newspaper also asked both the aforementioned spokeswoman and the Ministry of the Presidency, Justice and Relations with the Courts if there was any opinion or report after January 26, 2024, the date on which the International Court of Justice (IJC), the United Nations court in The Hague, declared before South Africa’s claim against Israel the existence of “possible genocide in Gaza”, about its possible consequences for countries signatories to the Convention against Genocide, among them Spain, and that they have maintained a fluid arms trade with Israel. The answer is pending.

Embargo, the cursed word

The Spanish Government, through the Minister of Foreign Affairs, José Luis Albares, has never uttered the word embargo. But when he was asked directly about an embargo, he answered that in the case of Spain it was already a reality. On January 22, the foreign ministers of the European Union, meeting in Brussels, a conclave to which the minister of foreign affairs of Israel joined, analyzed the possibility of an embargo. That was what Albares explained to journalist Àngels Barceló on the SER channel, when asked on January 23 why a total arms embargo in Israel is not being promoted. “It is a fact that was brought up yesterday and it is undoubtedly something that Spain has carried out since October 7th. Since October 7th itself, no arms sales operation has taken place in Israel. And without a doubt we promote all measures that lead to a de-escalation and a cessation of violence.” But there is no such embargo understood as a government resolution endorsed by a legal opinion either from the Attorney General of the State or the International Legal Advice (AJI) of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. If this opinion exists, it has not been advertised.

The most likely, according to sources familiar with the arms trade, is that the Government has addressed the Interministerial Board of Defense and Dual Use Material (Jimddu) with the order not to formalize new contracts. “What the Government has done is to stop authorizing new arms exports. In other words: exports agreed or committed to in contracts signed before October 7, 2023 can take place. The time that elapses between an authorization and an export materialization can take a very long time. If it is to export something that is already produced, the time is short; if it is something that has to be manufactured, it can be many months”, Alejandro Pozo Marín points out to EL PERIÓDICO , researcher of the arms industry and trade at the Center Delàs d’Estudis per la Pau.

An embargo or ban on selling arms to Israel also means establishing a control system and a table of sanctions in the case of non-compliance by companies. There is another point in which, however, the conduct of the Spanish Government has not changed. While arms sales cannot be authorized until further notice, there has been no change since October 7 in terms of arms imports from Israel for the Spanish Armed Forces, which have developed a heavy dependence on Israeli technology.

Contracts with Israeli companies

Alejandro Pozo points out: “What has not changed is the hiring of Israeli companies by the Spanish Armed Forces. Spain continues to authorize imports of Israeli material that comes to Spain, which is not particularly relevant because much of the Israeli weaponry that it is used in Spain it is produced in Spain and even by Spanish companies that have technology transfer contracts Of all the options that exist when we talk about arms trade – exports and imports, purchases, acquisitions and sales – Spain he has said that what he will not do is authorize new exports.” Some of the companies they have continued to do business with are giants in the world arms market. One of them is Elbit Systems.

Related news

The declaration of the ICJ in The Hague last January 26 on “possible genocide” and the additional precautionary measures announced last week raise a new drift: the possible complicity of countries that have pledged not only not to commit genocide, but to not be accomplices in its execution. However, it is not just about the crime of genocide. The United Nations Arms Trade Treaty (ATT) would have prevented, in view of Israel’s conduct before October 7, the continued purchase and sale of arms and business with Israeli companies, as Pozo recalls.

The Biden Administration is considering a new contract with Israel for the delivery of F-15 fighter jets, air-to-air missiles and a guidance system. Italy and Canada, which announced the blocking of their arms exports to Israel, continue to “honor”, like Spain, contracts prior to October 7. The European Union, with Germany as the main supplier of arms to Israel, after the US, is not able to declare the embargo when the casualties reach 33,000 Palestinians.

#accomplices #sale #arms

Related Articles

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Back to top button