Blinken Acknowledges State Dept. Review of Alleged Israeli Human Rights Violations

U.S. reviews Israeli security units for human rights violations, potentially impacting military aid. Blinken confirms determinations to be made public soon, highlighting scrutiny on Israel's conduct.

Bijay Laxmi
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Blinken Acknowledges State Dept. Review of Alleged Israeli Human Rights Violations

Blinken Acknowledges State Dept. Review of Alleged Israeli Human Rights Violations

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken has confirmed that a State Department panel reviewed accusations of Israeli security units committing gross human rights violations, which could trigger U.S. laws prohibiting military assistance to those units. Blinken stated that he has made determinations regarding these allegations and the results will be made public in the coming days.

The panel, known as the Israel Leahy Vetting Forum, had reportedly recommended months ago that multiple Israeli military and police units be disqualified from receiving U.S. aid due to alleged gross human rights violations in the West Bank. The Leahy Laws prohibit providing military assistance to individuals or security force units that commit gross violations of human rights and have not been brought to justice.

Why this matters: The findings of this review could have significant implications for U.S.-Israel relations and the provision of military aid. It also highlights the increasing scrutiny on Israeli military conduct, particularly regarding civilian harm and casualties in the ongoing conflict with Palestinians.

Specific incidents under review include the death of a Palestinian American citizen and the alleged physical and sexual assault of a Palestinian boy by an Israeli interrogator. The elite Israeli border police unit Yamam has also faced scrutiny, including an incident where they allegedly carried out an extrajudicial killing of two Palestinian men.

Blinken emphasized the importance of the Leahy Laws, stating, "The Leahy Laws are an important law that we apply across the board." He did not confirm the reports but promised to take action soon, noting that the investigations and analysis have been done carefully.

The issue of Israeli military conduct has come under increasing scrutiny, particularly regarding civilian casualties and harm during the recent conflict in Gaza. The Biden administration has faced criticism from leftist Democrats and Arab American groups for its steadfast support for Israel, which they argue provides it with a sense of impunity.

Blinken acknowledged the State Department panel's review of the accusations against Israeli security units and reiterated his commitment to the Leahy Laws. He stated that the public can expect to see the results of the determinations in the coming days, signaling potential consequences for any units found to have committed gross human rights violations.

Key Takeaways

  • Blinken confirms State Dept. panel reviewed Israeli security units for human rights violations.
  • Leahy Laws may prohibit U.S. military aid to units found to have committed gross violations.
  • Specific incidents under review include Palestinian American death and alleged assault of a boy.
  • Findings could impact U.S.-Israel relations and scrutiny on Israeli military conduct.
  • Blinken promises to make determinations public in coming days, signaling potential consequences.