US questions Israel’s inconsistent use of weapons in Gaza – DW – 05/11/2024

US questions Israel’s inconsistent use of weapons in Gaza – DW – 05/11/2024
US questions Israel’s inconsistent use of weapons in Gaza – DW – 05/11/2024

The United States affirmed this Friday (05/10/2024) that Israel has used American weapons in the Gaza Strip in a manner “inconsistent” with international humanitarian law, but has not found sufficient information to justify stopping the sending of military assistance to Israel.

This appears in a report from the State Department, which it delivered this Friday to Congress after its publication was delayed for several days and which represents the most detailed evaluation so far of Israel’s conduct in Gaza since the war began in October.

The document does not conclude that Israel has violated international law and the rules that Washington establishes for the sale of weapons to any nation.

However, the State Department states that it is “reasonable to assess” that US weapons have been used by the Israeli military “in some cases” in a manner “inconsistent” with its obligations under international law or with “established best practices.” to mitigate harm to civilians.

The report highlights that Israel has “the knowledge, experience and tools” to prevent civilian deaths; But he emphasizes that the results on the ground, including high levels of casualties, raise “substantial questions” about whether the Israeli military is using American weapons “effectively in all cases.”

“Nature” of conflict makes assessment difficult, Washington says

Despite these indications, the State Department concluded that it does not have “sufficient information” to determine that Israel has violated international humanitarian law and justifies that conclusion by the “nature” of the conflict in Gaza, which makes it difficult to evaluate or reach definitive conclusions about individual incidents.

The report also highlighted that Israel has initiated different processes to seek responsibility for possible violations of international law, something that is key in the United States’ assessment of whether it will continue to provide military aid to Israel.

The report also did not find enough evidence to conclude that Israel has intentionally obstructed the entry of humanitarian aid into Gaza, where food is scarce and where more than 34,000 people have died as a result of the conflict.

Report was requested by Biden

This report, known as NSM-20, was prepared at the request of President Joe Biden in February and required all countries that receive US military aid and are involved in conflicts to give written “guarantees” that they would comply. international law and would not hinder the delivery of humanitarian aid provided by the US Government.

Its publication has no relation to the decision that Biden made this week to stop for now the shipment to Israel of a large package of weapons containing high explosives for fear of how they could be used in the southern Gazan city of Rafah.

The United States is the main supplier of weapons to Israel and one of its strongest allies in the world. Between 2016 and 2023, 69% of the weapons imported by Israel came from the North American country, according to data from the Stockholm International Peace Research Institute.

jc (efe, ap)

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