"Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) report a ‘huge majority of patients – mainly young men, but also some women and children – have unusually severe wounds to the lower extremities. MSF medical teams note the injuries include an extreme level of destruction to bones and soft tissue, and large exit wounds that can be the size of a fist.’
Human Rights Watch (HRW) report that Israel’s extreme and bloody response was ‘planned at highest levels of the Israeli government’, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an unprecedented warning that Israeli leaders may face trial for the killings of unarmed Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip."

 

Ross Thomson, MP for Aberdeen South and unflagging defender of Israeli crimes against the Palestinian people, unsurprisingly does not support an embargo on arms sales to Israel. No doubt being pestered daily by constituents via online petitions asking that he demand such an embargo from Westminster, he has posted a statement on the subject on his website to which constituents contacting him are directed:

 "I do not believe that imposing a blanket arms embargo on Israel would promote the Middle East Peace Process. Defence and security exports support a country's legitimate right to self-defence. Israel has this right as much as any other nation.

I know that the Government takes its arms export responsibilities very seriously and operates one of the most robust licensing systems in the world. All export licence applications are assessed on a case-by-case basis against the consolidated EU and National Arms Export Licensing Criteria, taking into account all relevant factors.

A licence would not be issued for any country if there was a clear risk that any exports might be used in the commission of a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law. The Government continues to monitor the situation in Israel and the Occupied Palestinian Territories and takes into account the latest circumstances when assessing licence applications."


It would appear that Ross Thomson does not regard the horrific toll of dead and injured from the ongoing Gaza border protests as a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law’. The latest UN figures report 40 dead and 5511 injured, many left with life-changing injuries as a result of Israel’s ‘shoot-to-kill-or-maim’ policy when faced with legitimate protest. Haaretz reports ‘Of the injured, 2,596 people were hospitalized in government hospitals, 773 in nongovernment hospitals and the rest were treated in the field. Of those in government hospitals, 1,499 were hit by live ammunition, 107 by sponge-tipped bullets, 408 suffered gas inhalation and 582 suffered other injuries; 2,142 were adults and 454 were minors.’


So if 454 minors injured or killed while protesting doesn’t count as ‘a serious violation of International Humanitarian Law’, how should it be described? A ‘trivial’ violation of International Humanitarian Law (IHL)? It is telling that Thomson’s world view includes an apparent ranking of violations – some of which can be ignored. Would he consider these statistics more ‘serious’ if they did not relate to Palestinians?

Medecins sans Frontieres (MSF) report a ‘huge majority of patients – mainly young men, but also some women and children – have unusually severe wounds to the lower extremities. MSF medical teams note the injuries include an extreme level of destruction to bones and soft tissue, and large exit wounds that can be the size of a fist.’

 
Human Rights Watch (HRW) report that Israel’s extreme and bloody response was ‘planned at highest levels of the Israeli government’, and the International Criminal Court (ICC) has issued an unprecedented warning that Israeli leaders may face trial for the killings of unarmed Palestinian protesters in the Gaza Strip.

 
Yet despite all the evidence, Thomson does not consider that any ‘serious’ violation of IHL has occurred.

 
Join us this Saturday outside his constituency office and help us raise awareness of the reality of what is happening in Gaza. We will be collecting signatures to deliver to the MP for Aberdeen South to show him Aberdeen does not agree with his distorted view of international law and basic human rights.

 
TAKE ACTION

Join us outside Ross Thomson’s constituency office (192 Holburn Street, Aberdeen) Saturday 28th April, 2-3pm

Sign and share the petitions calling for an arms embargo against Israel – see here and here

Time to Divest – join the campaign to end Scottish Local Authority pension funds investing in Israel. Email your councillors here

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