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Growing Anger Over UK Arms Manufacturers ‘Profiting’ From Gaza Conflict

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Mark Hirst – Pro-Palestinian campaigners in Scotland have told RIA Novosti that they plan to enforce an arms embargo on Israel through “non-violent direct action”.

GLENROTHES, SCOTLAND, 18 August (RIA Novosti), Mark Hirst – Pro-Palestinian campaigners in Scotland have told RIA Novosti that they plan to enforce an arms embargo on Israel through “non-violent direct action”.

“The Scottish Government, to their credit, have called for an immediate arms embargo on Israel, although they are powerless to enforce it,” Mick Napier, Secretary of the Scottish Palestine Solidarity Campaign told RIA Novosti.

“It will be down to civil society organizations like ourselves to try and enforce it through non-violent direct action,” Napier said. “We also hope to strengthen the provision against purchasing from states and bodies that are complicit in serious human rights violations.”

At the weekend it was confirmed that one of the biggest military suppliers from the UK is the American owned Raytheon Company which has a facility in Fife, Scotland. Protesters have been demonstrating outside the factory in Glenrothes and accuse owners of “profiting” from the conflict which began on the 8th of July and which has claimed over 2000 lives, most of those Palestinian civilians.

“I am angry that military equipment made here in Scotland has been and continues to be used in Israel’s attacks in Gaza,” Labour Member of the Scottish Parliament Cara Hilton told RIA Novosti.

“Raytheon is one of the biggest suppliers to the Israeli military and we now know that Selex Galileo, a firm which has benefited from £12.5 million pounds of Scottish Government money, has also been linked to the deadly raids on schools, homes and hospitals in Gaza,” Hilton added.

“No company based here in Scotland or anywhere else in the UK should be supplying Israel or any regimes that have breached countless UN resolutions and show no respect for human rights or the lives of children,” Hilton told RIA Novosti. “The UK should not be complicit in these war crimes and I am calling for an urgent investigation into why any company in the UK is involved in arms deals with Israel, an apartheid regime that is illegally occupying Palestinian land”.

The Scottish Government’s Minister for External Affairs repeated his call for a complete suspension of arms sales to Israel, and in a statement Yousaf Humza said, “Given the UN’s statement that there is a strong possibility international law has been violated, I once again encourage the UK Government to implement a complete suspension of arms sales to Israel until there has been an investigation into whether not UK arms have been used in any violation of international law.”

“Raytheon UK respects people’s rights to peacefully demonstrate. Raytheon’s Glenrothes facility carries out component work for a wide range of Government and commercial solutions,” a spokesman for Raytheon said in a statement given to RIA Novosti.

“The company does not comment on geopolitical situations,” the spokesman said.

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