Fri 19 Apr 2024 8:08 pm - Jerusalem Time

Blinken says he has made "decisions" about accusing "Israel" of violating human rights

US Secretary of State Antony Blinken said on Friday that he had made “decisions” regarding accusations that Israel violated a set of US laws that prohibit providing military assistance to individuals or security force units that commit serious human rights violations.

The Leahy Laws, authored by Senator Patrick Leahy in the late 1990s, prohibit military assistance to individuals or security force units that commit serious human rights violations without bringing them to justice.

Earlier this week, ProPublica, an independent investigative reporting organization, reported that a special State Department committee known as the Leahy Audit Committee had recommended to Blinken months ago that several Israeli army and police units would not be eligible to receive US aid due to allegations of human rights violations. .

ProPublica reported that Blinken did not take any action. The agency said that the incidents that were under discussion occurred in the West Bank, and most of them occurred before the start of the Israeli aggression on Gaza on October 7.

In response to a question at a press conference in Italy about reports that the State Department recommended cutting off military aid to some Israeli security force units due to possible human rights violations in the West Bank, Blinken did not directly confirm the reports but promised to reveal the results very soon.

“I think you are referring to the so-called Leahy Law and our work under it... It is a very important law... We apply it in all areas,” he said. And when we do these investigations, they… take time. This must be done with extreme caution in collecting and analyzing facts.”

“This is exactly what we did,” Blinken added. I think it is fair to say that you will see the results very soon. I have made decisions. You can expect to see it in the coming days.” But he did not provide further details.

Israeli military behavior is under increasing scrutiny, as about 34,000 Palestinians have been martyred in Gaza, according to health authorities in the Strip, many of them women and children, since the start of the war. Large areas of the Gaza Strip were destroyed and severe food shortages raised fears of famine.

The Israeli occupation forces launched their military operations in response to the Hamas attack on the Gaza Strip settlements on October 7, which the occupation authorities say resulted in the deaths of 1,200 people.

Human rights groups spoke of many incidents that harmed civilians during the military operation carried out by the Israeli occupation army in Gaza, and also sounded the alarm about the escalation of violence in the Israeli-occupied West Bank. But the Biden administration says so far that it has not found in any assessment that Israel is violating international law.

Washington provides annual military aid worth $3.8 billion to its ally Israel. Left-wing Democrats and Arab American groups have criticized the Biden administration's steadfast support for Israel, which they say provides it with a sense of impunity.

But earlier this month, President Joe Biden for the first time threatened to put conditions on support for Israel, insisting on concrete steps to protect humanitarian aid workers and civilians.


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Blinken says he has made "decisions" about accusing "Israel" of violating human rights