(MENAFN- Palestine News Network )
Yesterday, on September 5, 2023, a gathering of concerned individuals convened at Cundy Park in east London to hold a solemn vigil in firm opposition to the Defence and Security Equipment International (DSEI) arms fair. This fair is currently in the process of setting up at the Excel Centre, with its official commencement scheduled for September 12.
DSEI stands as one of the globe's most significant arms exhibitions, occurring biennially in the borough of Newham, London. This event draws hundreds of arms companies, all eager to display weaponry and cutting-edge military technologies to official delegations hailing from varinations.
DSEI has found itself amidst consistent opposition from diverse anti-racist and international justice organizations. These groups contend that the arms fair plays a detrimental role in facilitating the transfer of weaponry and military technologies, often wielded in attacks against indigenand marginalized communities around the world.
The vigil, held yesterday, was orchestrated by the Palestine Solidarity Campaign (PSC) and bore a resolute condemnation of the presence of Israeli military officials and Israeli arms manufacturers. These entities have been instrumental in the development and utilization of weapons employed in violent actions against Palestinians, subsequently marketing them as "battle-tested" commodities to other nations. In the current year alone, Israel's actions have led to the loss of over 200 Palestinian lives across the occupied Palestinian territory, involving military incursions, bombing campaigns, and targeted assassinations.
Attendees at the vigil raised their voices in unison, calling upon London Mayor, Sadiq Khan, who has previously voiced his opposition to the fair, to take decisive measures to halt this event. Protesters also directed their concerns towards the British government, which plays a pivotal role in the organization of the arms fair through entities such as the Ministry of Defence and UK Defence and Security Exports, a segment of the Department for International Trade.
Ben Jamal, the Director of PSC, articulated, "The DSEI arms fair offers a platform for Israel's apartheid regime to procure weaponry and facilitates Israeli arms companies in marketing their lethal arsenal, honed through Israel's aggressive actions against Palestinians, to other authoritarian regimes.
The imperative now is the cessation of this arms fair. Furthermore, we implore the British government to terminate the arms trade between the UK and Israel by instituting a comprehensive military embargo, in line with the longstanding demands of Palestinian civil society."
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