NGOs against arms trade likely to be used in Gaza at defense show

NGOs against arms trade likely to be used in Gaza at defense show
NGOs against arms trade likely to be used in Gaza at defense show

A collective of associations on Wednesday called on the organizers of Eurosatory, an international defense and land security exhibition near Paris, to “prevent” the trade in arms likely to be used by the Israeli army in Gaza, under penalty of legal proceedings.

In a summons delivered by bailiff on May 24, this coalition asks Coges Events, organizer of the show, “to justify within 8 days the measures taken to prevent the sale or purchase of weapons likely to be used in crimes committed in Palestine and the occupied territories,” she explains in a press release.

It also calls on the organizer to “prevent exhibition at the show from strengthening the economic power of companies likely to participate in these crimes.”

According to her, “without the weapons coming from multinationals from different countries, their financing and the authorizations to trade in them that certain States continue to grant, these crimes could not be perpetrated with such intensity.” This coalition, which “reserves the right to take legal action against” Coges Events, is made up of the associations ASER, StopArming Israel, Urgence Palestine and Association France Palestine Solidarité, and says it is supported by around thirty other organizations.

The Eurosatory show will take place from June 17 to 21 in the north of Paris. Asked by AFP, Coges Events recalled that it operated “under the authority of the government” and that Eurosatory was “a show solely for the presentation of defense and security equipment (…) in no case a place transactions – moreover, no real ammunition is presented at the show – or promotion of the use of such materials.

In an interview with AFP, its president, Charles Beaudouin, judged that the presence of a pavilion and 74 Israeli exhibitors, “including around ten presenting weapons”, out of the 2,054 expected at the show, could arouse “consideration part of associations, collectives, an emotion which can be understandable”.

“We fully respect all treaties, whether the arms trade treaty or the treaties which prohibit certain weapons” such as cluster munitions or anti-personnel mines, he said. NGOs themselves come to the show to check the conformity of the products on display and company catalogs, according to him.

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