US: Israel Violated Human Rights

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( – The U.S. State Department has determined that five Israeli military units have been linked to serious human rights abuses in various incidents but will still receive U.S. military support. Reportedly, these violations occurred outside of Gaza before the ongoing conflict.

In response, Israel has implemented corrective measures in four of the units and provided “additional information” concerning the fifth, allowing all to remain qualified for U.S. aid.

While the U.S. is Israel’s principal military sponsor, providing $3.8 billion annually in arms and defense support, this is a novel type of assessment for Israeli units by the U.S. government.

State Department spokesperson Vedant Patel explained that five security units were found guilty of severe human rights breaches. “Four of these units have effectively remediated these violations, which is what we expect partners to do,” he stated.

Despite allegations of yielding to political pressure, the department refutes any claims of faltering in its commitment to cease support if accountability was uncertain.

“We are engaging with them in a process, and we will make an ultimate decision when it comes to that unit when that process is complete,” Patel noted.

According to the Leahy Law, enacted in 1997, a foreign military unit implicated in severe human rights abuses could be disqualified from receiving U.S. military help. This law covers crimes like torture, extrajudicial killings, forced disappearances, and rape.

Even when such a finding occurs, there is an exception to cutting military assistance if the State Department is satisfied the cases have been dealt with and justice pursued by the government involved.

It says Israel did this so-called remediation in four of the five units. However, the department declined to provide details of the incidents, the remediation, the units involved, or evidence to support whether the remediation was effective.

When questioned about the possibility of this unit becoming the first to be officially designated under the Leahy Law, Secretary of State Antony Blinken responded on April 19, “I made determinations. You can expect to see them in the days ahead.”

Israeli leaders, including Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Defense Minister Yoav Gallant, have communicated their strong opposition to any sanctions and pledged to contest them vigorously.

Amid inquiries about possibly softening its stance on withdrawing support for the fifth unit, Patel indicated a final decision would be made after completing discussions with Israel.

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