US State Department Cites Human Rights Abuses in Gaza by Israel and Hamas

The U.S. State Department's report highlights human rights abuses in Gaza by both Israel and Hamas, calling for accountability and protection of civilians amid the ongoing conflict.

Ayesha Mumtaz
New Update
US State Department Cites Human Rights Abuses in Gaza by Israel and Hamas

US State Department Cites Human Rights Abuses in Gaza by Israel and Hamas

The U.S. State Department's annual Country Reports on Human Rights Practices has highlighted human rights abuses in Gaza, citing credible reports of extrajudicial killings, torture, and arbitrary detention by both Israel and Hamas. The report, released on April 23, 2024, documents incidents of abuse carried out by Israeli security forces and the militant group Hamas.

According to the report, Israeli security forces used excessive force against Palestinians, including killings, while Hamas carried out extrajudicial executions, torture, and arbitrary arrests. The State Department called on all parties to respect human rights and international humanitarian law, and to investigate allegations of abuses.

The report states that Israel's response to a Hamas terror attack on October 7th resulted in the killing of over 21,000 Palestinians and the injury of more than 56,000, as well as the displacement of the vast majority of Palestinians in Gaza and a severe humanitarian crisis. Israel is also accused of arbitrary or unlawful killings, enforced disappearances, torture, harsh prison conditions, and restrictions on freedom of expression and media freedom.

Why this matters: The U.S. State Department's report sheds light on the ongoing human rights crisis in Gaza, which has been exacerbated by the conflict between Israel and Hamas. The findings emphasize the pressing need for accountability and the protection of civilians caught in the crossfire.

Human rights groups have criticized both Israel and the Palestinian Authority for lack of accountability for human rights abuses. The report also accuses Hamas in Gaza of severe physical abuses, lack of judicial independence, conflict-related sexual violence, and the unlawful recruitment of children in armed conflict.

U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken rejected suggestions of a "double standard" in applying U.S. law to allegations against Israel, stating that the same standards are applied to all countries. However, advocates have criticized the Biden administration for being more cautious in its criticism of Israel compared to its condemnation of adversaries like Russia.

The report noted the significant negative impact of the conflict between Israel and Hamas on the human rights situation in the region. The U.S. government has been working to prevent the conflict from escalating and spreading further, and has condemned recent attacks by Iran-aligned militia groups against U.S. forces in the region.

Key Takeaways

  • U.S. report cites human rights abuses by Israel, Hamas in Gaza
  • Israel accused of killings, torture, media restrictions; Hamas of extrajudicial executions
  • Conflict caused severe humanitarian crisis, displacement of Palestinians in Gaza
  • Both sides criticized for lack of accountability for human rights violations
  • U.S. working to prevent conflict escalation, condemns attacks on U.S. forces