UK Deputy PM Says ‘Not Appropriate’ to Publish Whether Israel Breaking Intl Law

Just weeks after a prominent British Tory said, in a leaked tape, that lawyers think Israel violated international law in its deadly assault of the Gaza Strip, the deputy prime minister has argued that it is ‘not suitable’ to provide the government’s legal opinion on the matter.

There is mounting pressure on the government to restrict military sales to Israel, and the Cabinet is divided on the matter.

Deputy Prime Minister Oliver Dowden said on Sunday’s Times Radio that it hasn’t been the case that officials publish legal advice.

He said politicians consistently do these evaluations and that these diplomatic connections are delicate.

On the same day, however, Foreign Secretary Lord David Cameron told the Sunday Times that the UK’s support was “not unconditional,” even if Israel had the right to self-defense.

He said that in spite of such challenges, there is an expectation that such a proud and successful democracy will abide by international humanitarian law.

At a Conservative fundraiser dinner on March 13, Alicia Kearns, who chairs the Commons Foreign Affairs Committee, said because licenses cannot be issued where there is a clear danger that weapons may be used in a severe breach of international humanitarian law, any such legal advice would force the UK to stop all arms sales to Israel immediately.

After the horrific events on October 7, Israel’s handling of Palestinians in the conflict with Hamas has drawn heavy criticism from throughout the world.

Israeli forces started withdrawing from the Gaza Strip last night in an apparent show of “goodwill” toward its allies, who have accused Israel of brutally attacking the territory and killing its inhabitants.

Dr. Andreas Krieg, an assistant professor of defense studies at King’s College London, said nothing could be accomplished on the ground, and he believes the operation in Khan Younis has run its course.

Dr. Krieg described the “tactical withdrawal” as a “very symbolic” move, suggesting that Washington and London are becoming more impatient.

The planned assault of Rafah will be postponed due to the pullout, but ‘it won’t take them very long to send [troops] back in’ if Israel decides to go forward.

However, Dr. Krieg cautions that, given Israel’s present course of action, it would take “probably years” to accomplish its goal of completely eradicating Hamas.