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State Department Report Reveals Israel’s Suspected Violations in Gaza, But No Policy Changes or Consequences

State Department Report Reveals Suspected Humanitarian Violations by Israel in Gaza Conflict

The long-awaited report from the State Department has finally been released, shedding light on numerous suspected international humanitarian violations committed by Israel during its war on Gaza. However, despite these findings, the report does not recommend any changes in policy or consequences for Israel. This has raised concerns among critics who argue that accountability is necessary to prevent further violations.

One of the key findings of the report is that it is likely that Israel used U.S.-supplied weapons in ways that raise concerns about the country’s legal compliance. While the report acknowledges Israel’s efforts to investigate these incidents, it also highlights the need for more effective measures to ensure compliance with international humanitarian law.

Furthermore, the report addresses the issue of humanitarian aid delivery to Gaza. It acknowledges that Israel is not currently blocking aid but expresses deep concerns about the government’s actions and inaction, which have resulted in insufficient aid reaching Gaza. This raises questions about Israel’s commitment to ensuring the well-being of civilians in the region.

The report also examines Israel’s responsibility for civilian casualties in Gaza. While the U.S. intelligence community found no direct indication of intentional targeting of civilians by Israel, it suggests that Israel could do more to avoid civilian harm. The report points out that Israel has the knowledge, experience, and tools to implement best practices for mitigating civilian harm but questions whether these practices are being effectively utilized in all cases.

One important aspect that the report fails to address is the Leahy Law, a law that prohibits U.S. assistance to foreign security forces involved in gross violations of human rights. The report does not mention whether Israel is in compliance with this law or provide any assessment of Israel’s adherence to human rights standards.

The report was submitted under a national security memorandum issued by the Biden administration, which required assurances from Israel that it was not using U.S.-supplied weapons in violation of international law. Israel provided these assurances, but concerns were raised by various humanitarian organizations, including Oxfam, Human Rights Watch, and Amnesty International. These organizations flagged numerous incidents that they believe undermine Israel’s assurances.

Critics of the report argue that it is intentionally misleading and fails to hold Israel accountable for its actions. An independent task force, which includes former senior State Department officials and a human rights attorney, has criticized the report for defending acts that likely violate international humanitarian law and may amount to war crimes. They argue that the Biden administration has ignored the facts and failed to take appropriate action.

The report has also faced criticism from officials within the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). They urged Secretary of State Antony Blinken to find Israel’s commitments regarding humanitarian aid delivery to Gaza not credible or reliable. According to Reuters, USAID stated that the killing of thousands of people, including civilians, by Israel may well amount to a violation of international humanitarian law.

Despite these concerns, the report concludes that Israel is not prohibiting or restricting the transport or delivery of U.S. humanitarian assistance, at least within the meaning of U.S. law. This conclusion has disappointed many who believe that Israel has systematically denied humanitarian aid to Gaza in violation of international law.

In recent weeks, some State Department bureaus raised serious concerns about Israel’s non-compliance with humanitarian law. They highlighted high levels of civilian harm and the killing of humanitarian workers and journalists. However, the report does not definitively address these concerns or provide clear conclusions on whether U.S.-supplied weapons were used in these incidents.

President Joe Biden himself recently admitted that Israeli forces have used U.S. bombs to kill civilians. This acknowledgment adds weight to the concerns raised by critics who argue that Israel’s assurances were never credible or reliable.

Overall, the report has been met with disappointment and criticism from those who believe that Israel should be held accountable for its actions. The lack of consequences or policy changes suggested by the report raises questions about the commitment of the Biden administration to upholding international humanitarian law.

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