UN experts warn arms companies against involvement in war crimes in Gaza

Geneva – Together – On Thursday, a group of United Nations experts warned arms and ammunition manufacturing companies against participating in sending weapons to Israel, stressing that this may make them involved in violations of human rights and international law .

The group, made up of 30 experts, including several UN special rapporteurs, stressed the need for manufacturing companies that supply Israel with military equipment to stop sending it ‘even if it is under valid export licenses.’

‘By sending weapons, spare parts, components and ammunition to Israeli forces, these companies risk being involved in serious violations of international human rights law and international humanitarian law,’ the experts said in a statement.

Experts stated that the risks to arms companies have increased since the International Court of Justice ordered Israel last month to stop its military attack in Rafah, south of the Gaza Strip, and issued a historic emergency ruling in the lawsuit filed by South Africa, which accuses
Israel of committing genocide .

The experts added, “In this regard, continuing to send weapons to Israel may constitute intentional assistance to carry out operations that violate international human rights law and international humanitarian law, and may lead to profiteering from this assistance.”

‘The ongoing Israeli military offensive is characterized by indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks on the civilian population and infrastructure, including through the extensive use of explosive and incendiary weapons in densely populated areas, as well as in the destruction and damage of essential and life-sustaining civilian infrastructure, including homes and shelters,’ they said. Health, education, water and sanitation facilities.’

They added, ‘These attacks resulted in the deaths of more than 37,000 people in Gaza and the injury of 84,000 others. Of these deaths and injuries, it is estimated that 70 percent were women and children. Today, children in Gaza constitute the largest group of children with am
putees in the world due to ‘The serious injuries they sustained during the war, and these operations also led to severe environmental and climatic damage.’

The experts continued: ‘Imposing an arms embargo on Israel and the need for investors to take decisive action has become more urgent than ever, especially in light of the obligations of states and the responsibilities of companies under the Geneva Conventions, the Genocide Convention, international human rights treaties, and the United Nations Guiding Principles on… Business and human rights.

The experts praised the ongoing work of journalists documenting and reporting on the devastating impact of these weapons systems on civilians in Gaza, and human rights defenders and lawyers, among other stakeholders, who are dedicated to holding states and companies accountable for transferring weapons to Israel .

It is noteworthy that special rapporteurs and independent experts are appointed by the Human Rights Council in Geneva, which is an intergovernmental bo
dy responsible for promoting and protecting human rights around the world. Rapporteurs and experts are tasked with studying human rights situations and submitting reports on them to the Human Rights Council. It should be noted that this position is honorary, and these experts are not considered employees of the United Nations and do not receive compensation for their work.

Source: Maan News Agency