Labour vows to end sale of arms to Israel ‘used against Palestinian civilians’

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Labour vows to end sale of arms to Israel ‘used against Palestinian civilians’

Jeremy Corbyn's programme of policies reiterates pledge to formally recognise state of Palestine

Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn during the launch of his party's manifesto in Birmingham. (Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)
Labour Party leader Jeremy Corbyn during the launch of his party's manifesto in Birmingham. (Credit: Joe Giddens/PA Wire)

Labour has vowed to suspend British arms sales to Israel it says are used against Palestinian civilians.

The party committed to the policy in its general election manifesto unveiled at a launch in Birmingham on Thursday.

The programme promises to immediately suspend arms sales to Israel “used in violation of the human rights of Palestinian civilians” and to Saudi Arabia used in the conflict in Yemen.

It vows to “conduct a root-and-branch reform of our arms exports regime so ministers can never again turn a blind eye to British-made weapons being used to target innocent civilians.”

The manifesto pledges to “immediately recognise the state of Palestine” and reaffirms Labour’s commitment to a two-state solution.

“All sides must avoid taking action that would make peace harder to achieve,” the manifesto affirms. “That means both an end to the blockade, occupation and settlements, and an end to rocket and terror attacks.”

Elsewhere, the manifesto pledges to tackle hate crime in the UK by making attacks on places of worship an aggravated offence. It vows to maintain funding for the Community Security Trust and promises to review funding for a government scheme launched in 2016 that funds security measures at places of worship and faith community centres.

Meanwhile, the Liberal Democrats’ manifesto, published on Wednesday, would formally recognise the state of Palestine and reaffirms support for a two-state solution.

The programme also pledges to work with the European Union to “revive the Iran nuclear deal” and says it would “condemn violence on all sides of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and support Israel’s right to security.”

The 66-page document commits to provide funding for protecting security measures to places of worship, schools and community centres and would make hate crime an aggravated offence.

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