Palestinian group in legal challenge over Britain's Israel policy

Israel Materials 24 February 2009 17:27 (UTC +04:00)

A Palestinian human rights group Tuesday launched a legal challenge against the British government over an alleged "flagrant" breach of international law in relation to Israel, including the issue of arms trading, dpa reported.

Al-Haq, a human rights organization based in the West Bank, lodged legal papers at the High Court in London calling for a judicial review into British government actions towards Israel.

The group accuses the British government of a "flagrant and continuing" breach of international law in a number of areas, including its record on arms trading with Israel.

It alleges that the British government appears to have "positively assisted" Israel in its action in Gaza by continuing arms trading with the Israelis.

"It is Al-Haq's position that if the UK were to meet its international obligations now, Palestinian lives and limbs in Gaza would be saved and there would be a much greater chance of accountability for Israel's actions and a change in the policies of all key players so that nothing like it can ever again befall the Palestinian people," solicitor Phil Shiner said.

Although the case was "obviously difficult," the group believed it deserved a full hearing from the High Court, Shiner said.