Now the International Criminal Court is seeking to issue an arrest warrant for Benjamin Netanyahu, it must investigate his accomplices in the British government.

20 MAY 2024 – https://www.declassifieduk.org/

Karim Khan (centre) announces ICC arrest warrant against Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: Screengrab / ICC)

Karim Khan (centre) announces ICC arrest warrant against Benjamin Netanyahu. (Photo: Screengrab / ICC)

  • Seven British ministers –  including Rishi Sunak, David Cameron, Grant Shapps and Kemi Badenoch – must be investigated for aiding Israel

With the ICC’s chief prosecutor issuing an application for an arrest warrant against Israel’s prime minister for “war crimes and crimes against humanity”, attention must turn to those who have aided Israel.

British ministers have for months been materially assisting Israel during its onslaught against Palestinians in Gaza. This support is being provided in three main ways.

First, the UK is providing arms to Israel. Recently filed court documents reveal that, as of January this year, the UK government had 28 extant and 28 pending “high-risk” licences with Israel marked as “most likely to be used by the IDF in offensive operations in Gaza”.

On 18 January, Israeli forces bombed a residential compound in Gaza housing the emergency medical team of Medical Aid for Palestinians (MAP), a British charity. Four British doctors were injured in the airstrike, alongside MAP staff members and a bodyguard. 

The attack was carried out by an F-16 jet, components for which have been supplied by UK companies.

But the UK continues to arm Israel, rejecting repeated calls by campaign groups, former supreme court judges and some MPs to halt them. 

Second, the UK military is training Israeli armed forces personnel in Britain during the genocide. 

The government has admitted that “there are currently six Israeli Armed Forces officers posted in the UK”. It says “Israel is represented by Armed Forces personnel in its Embassy in the UK, and as participants in UK defence-led training courses”.

Third, the UK military is conducting spy flights over Gaza in support of Israel. Declassified has found that over 200 surveillance missions over Gaza have been undertaken by the Royal Air Force, which is likely to have gathered around 1,000 hours of surveillance footage.

None of this spy activity is being used to halt Israel’s attacks on Palestinians. The UK government says these surveillance activities are solely to aid the release of hostages held by Hamas.

Although the ICC has also indicted Hamas’ leadership for hostage taking, there is little evidence that Britain’s surveillance of Gaza has helped save lives. Rather it encourages Netanyahu to continue a military campaign and avoid negotiating a ceasefire, a path many of the hostages’ families favour.