Weapons supplied to Israel may have been used in violation of int’l law: US

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Weapons supplied to Israel may have been used in violation of int'l law: US

The administration of U.S. President Joe Biden said in a report Friday that it is "reasonable to assess" that U.S. weapons supplied to Israel may have been used in violation of international humanitarian law (IHL), reported Xinhua.

The Biden administration said in an overdue report drafted by the State Department and delivered to Congress that the United States has not been shared with "complete information" by Israel "to verify whether U.S. defense articles" covered by the report, which assessed the use of U.S.-supplied weapons by Israel during the period from Oct. 7 when Hamas attacked Israel to late-April, "were specifically used in actions that have been alleged as violations of IHL or (international human rights law) in Gaza."

"However, certain Israeli-operated systems are entirely U.S.-origin," the report said, "and are likely to have been involved in incidents that raise concerns about Israel's IHL compliance."

The report, known as National Security Memorandum 20 (NSM-20) which Biden ordered in February, went on to say that "it is difficult to assess or reach conclusive findings on individual incidents. Nevertheless, given Israel's significant reliance on U.S.-made defense articles, it is reasonable to assess that defense articles covered under NSM-20 have been used by Israeli security forces since October 7 in instances inconsistent with its IHL obligations or with established best practices for mitigating civilian harm."

"While Israel has the knowledge, experience, and tools to implement best practices for mitigating civilian harm in its military operations, the results on the ground, including high levels of civilian casualties, raise substantial questions as to whether the (Israel Defense Forces) is using them effectively in all cases," the report continued.

The report said it assessed that all recipient countries of U.S. arms transfer involved in the report, including Israel, made "credible and reliable" assurances in March that U.S. arms would be used in ways consistent with international law, thus justifying the continued flow of U.S. weapons.

The report was mandated for the secretary of state by Biden in a February presidential memorandum, in which the president pledged that his administration will "provide periodic congressional reports to enable meaningful oversight" to the transfer of U.S. arms to foreign governments. The report was reportedly pushed by some Democratic lawmakers so as to press Israel on the humane treatment of civilians in Gaza.

The State Department missed the May 8 deadline for the submission of the report to Congress. The department has been under pressure in recent days to explain the delay.

Source: www.dailyfinland.fi

  1. Emily_Smith says

    Do you think the Biden administration will take any specific actions in response to these findings?

    1. Liam_Jackson says

      It is unclear at this point what actions the Biden administration may take in response to these findings. However, considering the gravity of the situation highlighted in the report, one would hope they would prioritize ensuring compliance with international humanitarian law. Time will tell how they choose to address this matter.

  2. Emily123 says

    Do you think the lack of complete information from Israel hinders the ability to verify the use of U.S. weapons in accordance with international law?

    1. Michael93 says

      It is concerning that the lack of complete information from Israel may impede our ability to properly assess the utilization of U.S. weapons in accordance with international law.

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