Israeli arms embargo ‘not wise’ – with US and UK ‘in totally different situation’, says Cameron | Politics News

An Israeli arms embargo is “not a wise path” and the UK and America are “in a totally different situation”, the foreign secretary has said.

Lord Cameron told the Sunday Morning With Trevor Phillips Show that it would be “extremely dangerous” for Israel to attempt a major offensive in Rafah.

Politics Live: Foreign Secretary Lord Cameron facing questions on Sky News

But asked if the UK would follow in the US’s footsteps and halt the supply of weapons to Israel if launches an attack on the southernmost city of Gaza – a crucial route for aid – he said the UK and American “are in a totally different situation”.

“The United States is a massive bulk state supplier of weapons to Israel, including, you know, thousand pound bombs and all the rest of it,” he said.

“The UK provides less than 1% of Israel’s weapons and is not a state supplier. We have a licensing system and those licences can be closed if it’s judged there’s a serious risk of a serious international human rights.”

He added an arms embargo would “not be the right path”, saying when he last came under pressure to announce this, “a few days later was a massive Iranian attack on Israel, including 140 cruise missiles”.

“So I don’t think it would have been a wise path, ” he said.

Lord Cameron added: “If I announced that today, it might help me get through this television interview, but actually it would strengthen Hamas. It would weaken Israel.

“I think it probably makes a hostage deal less likely. So I don’t think some sort of political declaration is the right answer. We should stick with our rigorous process of making sure we act within the law.”

Israel has called on residents of Rafah in the Gaza Strip to evacuate and head to the “expanded humanitarian area” as it prepares to ramp up its military assault.

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Israel expands Rafah evacuation order

Despite heavy US pressure, Israel has said it will proceed with an assault on the southern city, where more than 1.4 million people have taken refuge from the fighting – around half of them children.

Israeli forces say Hamas militants are dug in.

But tensions over the gathering offensive have led President Joe Biden to warn the US would stop supplying Israel with some weapons if it presses ahead with an invasion.


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