PALESTINIAN human rights campaigners launched a legal challenge against the government on Tuesday over an alleged "flagrant" breach of international law in relation to Israel.
Al-Haq, a human rights organisation based in the West Bank, lodged legal papers at the High Court in London calling for a judicial review into new Labour's actions towards Israel.
The group said that the government was in "flagrant and continuing" breach of international law in a number of areas, including its record on arms trading with Israel.
It has alleged that, given Israel's actions in Gaza, Britain should comply with international obligations not to render "aid or assistance" to Israel.
Phil Shiner, the solicitor representing al-Haq, said outside the High Court: "It is al-Haq's position that, if the UK were to meet its international obligations now, Palestinian lives and limbs in Gaza would be saved and there would be a much greater chance of accountability for Israel's actions and a change in the policies of all key players so that nothing like it can ever again befall the Palestinian people."
The group also received support from sister campaign organisations.
Veteran peace campaigner Bruce Kent, who is vice-president of Pax Christi, joined a protest outside the High Court.
"This government is complicit in arms sales to Israel, some of which have been used to commit war crimes," he said.
Palestine Solidarity Campaign general secretary Betty Hunter added: "The British government is continuing to trade in arms with Israel despite the illegality of the occupation and we feel that we really must make a protest to say they should not be supporting aggression against the captive Palestinian people."
February 24, 2009
Frank Fisher, the moderator of Just Peace UK, has just sent a link to this Morning Star to the list:Let's just see if the courts jump through the same hoops to defend Israel as the politicians do.