Rights Groups Demand US End Weapon Shipments to Israel

by | Mar 21, 2024

Rights Groups Demand US End Weapon Shipments to Israel

by | Mar 21, 2024

members of a palestinian family inspect the damage inside their home following nighttime israeli airstrikes

Members of a Palestinian family inspect the damage inside their home after night time Israeli airstrikes. October 10, 2023.

Oxfam and Human Rights Watch (HRW) issued a joint letter calling for President Joe Biden to halt arms transfers to Israel. Over the past five months, Washington has shipped weapons to Tel Aviv on a near-daily basis. The rights groups documented Israel conducting multiple war crimes in Gaza. 

The rights groups issued the letter in response to a document released by Tel Aviv saying it uses American-made weapons in accordance with international law. The groups wrote, “Any such assurances from the Israeli government, a major recipient of US arms, are not credible, especially in light of the conduct of Israeli forces since the onset of hostilities in October 2023.”

Oxfam and HRW have “documented that the Israeli authorities have carried out indiscriminate and disproportionate attacks in violation of international humanitarian law.” The statement adds Tel Aviv “imposed collective punishments on the civilian population, deprived the civilian population of objects indispensable to its survival, and used starvation of civilians as a weapon of war.”

The report from the rights groups goes on to document several war crimes, including attacks on ambulances, hospitals, and water treatment facilities. It explains Israel has killed civilians and journalists and dropped white phosphorus as well as 2,000-pound bombs in civilian areas. 

The rights groups add that Israel has engaged in the collective punishment of Palestinians by denying aid and food to Gaza. People in northern Gaza are on the brink of famine, and dozens of children have already starved to death. The policy of denying aid to Palestinians is intentional and was announced by Israeli Defense Minister Yoav Gallant last October. 

The White House has faced mounting pressure from aid groups, members of Congress, and Democratic voters to back away from its policy of unconditional military aid for Israel. However, Biden has refused to relent. Washington has approved over 100 arms sales to Israel during the past five months, with tens of thousands of bombs delivered to Tel Aviv. 

NATO-ally Canada’s House of Commons passed a bill that called for a ceasefire in Gaza and to end weapons transfers to Israel. In response, the Canadian foreign minister said Ottoawa stopped approving new weapon sales to Tel Aviv this January. 

About Kyle Anzalone

Kyle Anzalone is news editor of the Libertarian Institute, opinion editor of Antiwar.com and co-host of Conflicts of Interest with Will Porter and Connor Freeman.

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