Letter to the Foreign Secretary about Rafah and arms sales

The Rt Hon Lord Cameron

Secretary of State for Foreign Affairs


15th February 2024


Dear David,

I am writing to ask you to urgently press the Israeli Government not to go ahead with its planned Rafah offensive – and to call for an immediate ceasefire by all parties to the conflict in Israel and Gaza.

As you know, successive waves of mass displacement have turned Rafah into Gaza’s most overcrowded area, where more than a million people, the vast majority of them displaced, live in dire conditions including in makeshift tents and schools. The governorate’s population has risen fivefold from its pre-war population. The implications of an IDF ground operation are very likely to be cataclysmic for those displaced, who have nowhere to go, and for the entire aid system, which is already stretched to its very limits.

I draw your attention to Amnesty International’s Press Release of 12 February 2024 entitled “Israel/OPT: New evidence of unlawful Israeli attacks in Gaza causing mass civilian casualties amid real risk of genocide” which describes new evidence of four deadly unlawful Israeli military attacks in the occupied Gaza strip, that killed at least 95 civilians, including 42 children, in Rafah in December and January, when Rafah was supposedly the “safest” area in the strip.

This new evidence again demonstrates how Israeli forces are continuing to flout international humanitarian law – and further underscores the need for the UK to suspend arms transfers to Israel, given the clear risk that UK arms could be used in the commission of attacks that breach international humanitarian law and amount to war crimes.

I ask that you share your assessment of Amnesty’s evidence of unlawful attacks, and the basis on which, in light of it, the UK has not suspended transfers of arms to Israel thus far.

I look forward to receiving your response.


Yours sincerely, 

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