MADRID – In a letter to the Spanish government, human rights organisation Amnesty International has called for an immediate end to the sale of weapons to Israel.
The call comes after recent events captured in numerous photos and videos showing the horrific effects of the violence committed by Hamas terrorists and Israel’s response to retaliatory attacks on Gaza. It is suspected that even white phosphorus was used. Amnesty also calls for a halt to arms deliveries to Hamás.
Nuestro Programa de Respuesta a Crisis ha reunido pruebas concluyentes que documentan el uso de proyectiles de artillería de fósforo blanco por parte del ejército israelí en zonas civiles densamente pobladas de Gaza. pic.twitter.com/uTP4muadN6
— Amnistía Internacional España (@amnistiaespana) October 14, 2023
What does the letter say?
The letter to the Secretaría de Estado de Comercio explicitly requests that Spain and other EU member states refrain from supplying weapons and military equipment to Israel. The document refers to an upcoming monthly meeting of the Junta Interministerial (JIMDDU), which has the power to revoke export licenses for defense equipment.
Amnesty is based on Article 7.1 of the Spanish regulations for the control of trade in defense equipment. This article states that licenses may be denied “if there are reasonable indications that the weapons could be used in actions disrupting peace or security at the global or regional level.” The organisation also refers to Article 6 of the international Arms Trade Treaty, which prohibits arms transfers “when states are aware that they could be used to commit war crimes, as is the case in the current conflict.”
Gun sales in numbers
According to official data, Spain has sold more than €12 million worth of weapons to Israel in the past 7 years. Amnesty International emphasises that the sale of €2 million in ammunition and €700,000 in bombs, torpedoes and missiles is of particular concern. Between 2015 and June 2022, Spain issued 290 arms export licenses to Israel, with a total value of more than €80 million.
Amnesty International calls on not only Spain but also the international community to urgently stop arms sales to all parties to the conflict. The organisation points to various intelligence reports that indicate Iran is one of Hamás’ arms suppliers. Consequently, Amnesty emphasises that immediate action is needed to prevent further human suffering. “Citizens will continue to pay a high price until the violations and injustices at the root causes of the conflict are addressed and justice and reparation are provided to victims.”