Halt arms sales to Israel

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Seriously injured Palestinian youth – hit by Israeli-fired special rounds

LABOUR leader Corbyn, on Friday has called upon the UK to freeze arms sales to Israel and to condemn it for killing Palestinian civilians in Gaza.

In a tweet, Corbyn said: ‘The UN says Israel’s killings of demonstrators in Gaza – including children, paramedics and journalists – may constitute “war crimes or crimes against humanity”.’

He added that the ‘UK government must unequivocally condemn the killings and freeze arms sales to Israel.’

Corbyn’s statement came after UN investigators accused Israeli forces of intentionally firing on civilians and committed war crimes in their lethal response to Palestinian demonstrations in Gaza.

The independent Commission of Inquiry, set up last year by the UN’s human rights council, said Israeli forces killed 189 people and shot more than 6,100 others with live ammunition near the fence that divides the two territories.

The panel said in a statement that it had found ‘reasonable grounds to believe that Israeli snipers shot at journalists, health workers, children and persons with disabilities, knowing they were clearly recognisable as such’.

  • Shadow Chancellor John McDonnell told Sky News yesterday that the party was not institutionally anti-Semitic.

He said: ‘These allegations that the Labour Party is institutionally anti-Semitic I reject completely, but clearly we do have a problem and we’ve accepted that.’

McDonnell said party figures suggest 0.1% of members ‘seem to have been involved in some form of anti-Semitism’.

He added: ‘It’s a tiny number but it’s still a problem – I don’t want one anti-Semite in our party. I don’t want one piece of evidence of someone being anti-Semitic, we’ve got to eradicate it from our party because our party has got to be in the lead with others in eradicating it from our society.’

McDonnell said that Labour in general needs to be quicker to react to cases when they arise, adding that sometimes it needs to be ‘more ruthless, more severe, and we’re doing that’.

When asked for her reaction to the Shadow Chancellor’s comments, Joan Ryan, ex-Labour, Independent MP for Enfield North, said they were ‘disappointing’.

She insisted that anti-Semitism is ‘intimately related’ to Labour’s politics under Jeremy Corbyn.

Speaking out after receiving death threats, Joan Ryan said anti-Semitism was ‘never’ a problem before he became leader in 2015.

‘It is intimately related to their politics, to their organisation and to the processes that now operate in the Labour Party,’ she said.

Ryan quit the party last month and joined The Independent Group of MPs.