Israel-Gaza latest: Aid charity told IDF of movements so deadly attack 'makes no sense' – Sky News

Israel has halted combat leave, as fears grow of escalation in the Middle East after two Iranian generals were killed in Syria. In the UK, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been warned by former Supreme Court judges that continuing to sell arms to Israel could breach international law.
Thursday 4 April 2024 11:49, UK
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Israel is “absolutely not” in breach of international humanitarian law, former home secretary Suella Braverman has said.
Ms Braverman, on a visit to the country, told the BBC the suggestion was “absurd” and “an insult to Israel”.
She said Israel was going “above and beyond the necessary requirements to ensure that civilian casualties are limited, to ensure that aid is received onto the Gaza Strip and distributed”.
“I have seen evidence myself, in terms of very up-to-date photographic evidence, of plentiful food packages and trucks of food, water and medicines getting to the people of Gaza.”
The UK is breaching international law by continuing to arm Israel, Rishi Sunak has been warned.
Three former Supreme Court justices are among over 600 lawyers and academics who have signed a 17-page letter to warn the present situation in Gaza is “catastrophic”.
The letter warns that – given the International Court of Justice’s opinion that there is a plausible risk of genocide – the UK government is legally obliged to act in preventing it.
The signatories said: “While we welcome the increasingly robust calls by your government for a cessation of fighting and the unobstructed entry to Gaza of humanitarian assistance, simultaneously to continue… the sale of weapons and weapons systems to Israel… falls significantly short of your government’s obligations under international law.”
Read more on the legal warning given to the UK government…
Israel should apologise and pay compensation to the family of the Pole who was killed during an IDF airstrike in Gaza, Poland’s prime minister has said. 
“We will expect… an immediate explanation of the circumstances and compensation for the victims’ relatives,” Donald Tusk told a news conference. 

Damian Sobol, 36, from the Polish city of Przemysl, had spent the past six months in Gaza after working across the globe on aid missions.
Marta Wilczynska, of the Free Place Foundation, met and worked with Mr Sobol after Russia’s invasion of Ukraine.
He spoke English well and was a translator, and he was a skilled manager, she said.
“Always smiling, always so helpful, he loved this job. I felt I had a brother in him,” she added.
“He was a really extraordinary guy. We were very proud of him.”
More than 33,037 Palestinians have been killed and 75,668 have been injured since 7 October, the Hamas-run health ministry in Gaza said in a statement on Thursday.
Some 62 Palestinians were killed and 91 injured in the past 24 hours, the ministry added. 

The Israeli offensive in Gaza began following a terrorist attack by Hamas on 7 October which killed 1,200 people and saw 253 taken hostage.
Around 130 are believed to still be in captivity.
Former chief of the general staff General Lord Dannatt has told Sky News that Israel is “really in the dock” over the airstrike which killed seven aid workers in Gaza.
“There are mistakes and there are mistakes,” he said.
“I wasn’t there. I didn’t see what was going on, but all the evidence I have heard says to me that this was a systematic attack on those three cars, one after the other, conducted by a drone.

“It was probably being operated by a person who could see what was going on. 
“They say that one of the people in that group was a suspected terrorist – well, there was a Palestinian, but just because he was Palestinian doesn’t mean he was a potential terrorist.
“It’s things like this which put the Israelis on the wrong side of the moral argument and if we support them unconditionally, it puts us on the wrong side of the moral argument as well.”
The former general went on to say that the fact that the cars were clearly marked as aid vehicles should have been sufficient protection.
“But I think three successive attacks some distance apart suggests it was not simply an error or a bomb that went in the wrong direction,” he added
“This was clinical targeting to exterminate that whole team.
“I’m afraid Israel is really in the dock as far as this one is concerned, and that’s why it is really important if they want to exonerate themselves they have a transparent investigation and publish the results of that.
“And if someone made a mistake, a deliberate mistake, then they should be punished according to IDF regulations.”
Elsewhere in the Middle East, suspected Sunni Muslim militants have killed at least five Iranian security forces members in two separate attacks, according to Iranian state TV.
The attacks targeted Iran’s Revolutionary Guards headquarters in the country’s southeastern province of Sistan-Baluchestan, local reports say. 
At least 15 militants were killed in overnight clashes between the Jaish al Adl group and security forces in the Iranian towns of Chabahar and Rask in the province, the reports add. 
“The terrorists failed to succeed in achieving their goal of seizing the Guards headquarters in Chabahar and Rask,” deputy interior minister Majid Mirahmadi told state TV. 
Another 10 security officers were injured in the clashes in the area, which has a predominantly Sunni Muslim population. 
Why were there clashes in this part of Iran?
Jaish al Adl, an extremist Sunni Muslim militant group, says it seeks greater rights and better living conditions for ethnic minority Baluchis living in mostly Shi’ite Iran. 
It has been designated a terrorist organisation by Iran, the US, Japan and New Zealand.
It has claimed responsibility for several attacks in recent years on Iranian security forces in the country’s southeastern province. 
The area borders Afghanistan and Pakistan and has long been the site of clashes between Iran’s security forces and Sunni militants.
In December, the group attacked a police station in the town of Rask, killing 11 security officers and wounding several more.
In January, Iranian forces targeted two Jaish al Adl bases in Pakistan with missiles, sparking a swift response from Islamabad – targeting what it said were separatist militants in Iran. 
Israel’s military has halted leave for all combat units amid concerns of possible escalation after the killing of Iranian generals in Damascus. 
An airstrike hit Tehran’s consulate building in the Syrian capital earlier this week.
Iran has blamed Israel, with Israel declining to comment.
This morning, the Israel Defence Forces (IDF) said in a statement: “In accordance with the situational assessment, it has been decided that leave will be temporarily paused for all IDF combat units. 
“The IDF is at war and the deployment of forces is under continuous assessment according to requirements.”

 Shadow business secretary Jonathan Reynolds told Sky News that the government should publish its legal advice as to whether or not Britain should stop arms sales to Israel.
“There is a very clear legal precedent in the UK regarding arms sales saying that if there is any danger of arms from the UK being involved in a serious breach of humanitarian law then it cannot be exported,” he said.
“If that threshold has been met, then there should be no arms sales to Israel of anything that could be involved in that.”
“The government will have had information on that and taking the exceptional step of publishing that is the right response to the concerns we have seen and if that threshold has been met then things should not be exported,” he added.
To the families of the British aid workers who were killed in the IDF strike, he said that his “thoughts and prayers” were with the families and that the tragedy required international investigation, describing the situation as “horrendous”.
“We should be very angry, there can be nothing but unequivocal condemnation of what has happened to these heroes,” he added.
“Nothing can justify what has happened to these three people. For this to happen to them is unconscionable.”
Sir Mark Lyall Grant, the former permanent representative of the UK to the United Nations, has said there have been a “number of developments” since government lawyers analysed the legality of Israel’s military actions in Gaza last year.

He was reacting to warnings by 600 lawyers and academics that the UK is breaching international law by continuing to arm Israel.
Sir Mark, who is also the former UK national security adviser, told Kay Burley on Sky News this morning: “When they last did so, this was in December. They decided that there wasn’t a serious risk of a violation of international humanitarian law by Israel and therefore it was legitimate for the British government to continue to sell weapons to Israel. 
“I think since December there have been a number of developments that are highlighted in this letter from judges and lawyers.
“Firstly, you’ve got the ICJ judgement which said that there was a plausible risk of genocide in the conflict in Gaza.
“You’ve got the fact that there was a Security Council Resolution 27/28 calling for an immediate ceasefire which Israel hasn’t abided by. 
“And you’ve got the continuing humanitarian crisis, a siege prevention of aid going into Gaza and the risk of famine of the population. 
“So I think those developments since then means that if the government lawyers were to look again at this issue, they may come to a different judgement.”
Sir Mark added that the UK pausing weapon sales to Israel would be a “significant step”.
“Other European countries like Spain, like Belgium, have suspended weapons sales,” he said.
“We shouldn’t exaggerate the significance of the step because actually Britain sells very few weapons to Israel, particularly compared to the United States. 
“So it wouldn’t make any difference to Israel’s military capacity, but nonetheless would be quite a significant political and symbolic step.”
Read more on the legal warning given to the UK government…
The collapse of healthcare infrastructure in Gaza has left thousands of dead unidentified – with authorities relying on first responders, journalists and bereaved families for information.

Sky News Data and Forensics correspondent Tom Cheshire explains why Gaza’s health officials are unable to formally identify thousands of Palestinians killed in the conflict with Israel.
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