According to the US, Israel may have violated international law with US weapons in Gaza

According to the US, Israel may have used US-supplied weapons in some cases during the Gaza war in violation of international humanitarian law.

It is “reasonable to assess” that these weapons were used in a manner inconsistent with Israel’s obligations, the State Department said.

However, he added that the United States does not have complete data for its assessment and shipments may continue.

The report was delivered to Congress on Friday after a delay.

A review ordered by the White House revealed how the country, along with six other parties to the conflict, has been using weapons provided by the United States since the beginning of last year.

While the report was a clear rebuke of some Israeli operations in Gaza, it did not definitively say that the Israel Defense Forces (IDF) campaign violated international law.

Israel had to face an “extraordinary military challenge” to fight Hamas in Gaza.

And added that assurances received from Israel about the legal use of American weapons are “reliable and reliable.”

The document also noted that because Hamas “uses civilian infrastructure for military purposes and civilians as human shields,” it was often “difficult to establish facts on the ground” about legitimate targets in an active war zone.

But it said that because Israel relies heavily on American-made weapons, they are likely to be used “in situations inconsistent with IHL [international humanitarian law] obligations or best practices for mitigating civilian casualties.”

It added that “Israel has the knowledge, experience and resources to implement best practices to mitigate civilian casualties in its military operations,” but “the results on the ground, including high civilian casualties, raise serious questions, such as will the IDF use them effectively anyway.”

Israel’s efforts to mitigate civilian casualties have been deemed “inconsistent, ineffective and insufficient” by the United Nations and humanitarian organizations, according to the report.

The State Department found that Israel did not fully cooperate with US efforts to maximize humanitarian aid to Gaza during the first months of the conflict. However, according to him, the situation has changed.

“We do not currently assess that the Government of Israel is prohibiting or otherwise restricting the transportation or delivery of US humanitarian aid,” the report said.

One of the report’s authors, former US ambassador to Turkey David Satterfield, told the BBC that the report was the first of its kind and that the US would continue to “review” Israel’s actions.

“This is a conflict that is completely different from what the world has seen,” he added. “We tried to take into account all these factors to make a very transparent but also credible decision.”

The report was finally released days after US President Joe Biden publicly threatened to reject any bombs and artillery shells from Israel if it launches an attack on Rafah, the last stronghold of Hamas in the Gaza Strip, home to more than a million Palestinians. .

Shortly before the report was released, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu dismissed President Biden’s warnings that the Rafah operation was crossing a “red line” and vowed that Israel would “stand alone” if necessary.

More than 80,000 people have fled Rafah since Monday, the United Nations said, as Israeli tanks reportedly massed near populated areas amid continued gunfire.

Israeli forces seized and closed the Rafah border crossing with Egypt at the start of the operation, while the UN says it is too dangerous for its workers and trucks to access the reopened Kerem Shalom border crossing with Israel.

Israel launched a military campaign to destroy Hamas in Gaza in response to the group’s attack on southern Israel on October 7, which killed around 1,200 people and took 252 hostages. More than 34,900 people have died in Gaza since then, according to Hamas’ Health Ministry. of.

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