Amnesty Slams Sale of Israeli Weapons to the Philippines

Wednesday, 5 September, 2018 - 05:15
Tel Aviv- Asharq Al Awsat

Dozens of Israelis protested on Tuesday Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte's meeting with Israel's president.

The demonstrators gathered outside President Reuven Rivlin's residence Tuesday prior to Duterte's arrival. Waving Israeli flags and blowing whistles, they chanted "shame, shame, shame. We will not be silent and we will not agree to the selling of weapons."

Israel has sold assault rifles to the Philippines national police force in the past and a major arms sale is reportedly on the agenda.

Amnesty International Israel meanwhile decried the apparent sale of Israeli weapons to the Philippines.

"As early as February this year, the International Criminal Court has ordered the opening of an investigation against Duterte along with official complaints by citizens of the Philippines," Amnesty said in a statement.

"Instead of combatting a difficult social problem, his ‘war on drugs’ has caused untold damage and misery," the statement continued. "President Duterte’s policies – which include directly encouraging unlawful killing –have seen thousands of people murdered with total impunity amid growing lawlessness, with extrajudicial executions in homes and on the country’s streets still happening on a daily basis.

"It is not merely selling Israeli arms used for violations of human rights," the statement said. "As the liberal and human rights community around the world shows little patience toward the growing violations of human rights in the Occupied Palestinian Territories, the government seeks to collaborate with the worst of regimes for political and diplomatic support in international and regional institutions."

Human rights lawyer Itay Mack says the international community will eventually announce that Duterte is "responsible for crimes against humanity."

Duterte, the first Philippine president to visit Israel, is known for his profane outbursts and has been accused of committing human rights abuses in his deadly anti-drug campaign.

He's generally received a warm welcome.

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