Amnesty International’s branch for the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) has called for a halt in weapons deliveries to both Israel and Hamas in order to protect civilians in Gaza. In a statement on X (formerly Twitter), Amnesty MENA stated, “We’ve called for an arms embargo on all parties to the conflict in [Israeli-occupied Palestinian territories].” The organization also praised the actions of four Belgian trade unions that are reportedly blocking weapons transfers to Israel in response to ongoing unlawful attacks that have resulted in the deaths and injuries of thousands of civilians in Gaza. Amnesty MENA urged other countries to follow suit in implementing similar arms embargoes.
The call for an embargo would have a significant impact on the United States and Germany, as they are Israel’s largest arms suppliers, according to the Stockholm International Peace and Research Institute (SPRI). Washington began providing Israel with ammunition and other supplies immediately after the Hamas attack on October 7. West Jerusalem claimed that the attack resulted in the deaths of 1,400 Israelis, with an additional 200 taken hostage. The White House has requested Congress to approve an additional $14 billion in aid to Israel, which is still pending.
The conflict between Israel and Hamas has had devastating consequences for Palestinians in Gaza. According to the Gaza Health Ministry, nearly 8,800 Palestinians have been killed and over 22,000 wounded since Israel declared war on Hamas in response to their incursion. The Israeli military has engaged in shelling, bombing, and a ground invasion in the enclave, causing immense suffering and destruction.
Amnesty MENA’s call for an arms embargo comes as part of their larger effort to protect civilians and promote human rights in the region. The organization has consistently condemned the use of excessive force by all parties involved in the conflict and has called for an immediate end to the violence. By advocating for an embargo, Amnesty MENA aims to prevent further bloodshed and destruction in Gaza.
The endorsement of the Belgian trade unions’ actions further highlights the global movement against the unlawful attacks in Gaza. The unions, including FGTB, ACV, CSC, and BBTK/SETCa, have called for a refusal to handle military supplies used in the war in Palestine. This grassroots support adds significant weight to Amnesty MENA’s call, demonstrating solidarity among various sectors of society.
In conclusion, Amnesty International’s branch for the Middle East and North Africa has called for an arms embargo on both Israel and Hamas in order to protect civilians in Gaza. Their endorsement of actions taken by Belgian trade unions, along with the potential impact on major arms suppliers like the US and Germany, highlights the urgency and importance of this call. As the conflict continues to take a toll on the lives of innocent people in Palestine, it is crucial that the international community takes steps to ensure their safety and well-being.