Blinken Report Criticizes Israel's Conduct in Gaza, Stops Short of Accusing Law Violations

The Biden administration released a report concluding it's "reasonable to assess" that US weapons were used by Israel in ways inconsistent with law in Gaza. The report stops short of accusing Israel of violating the law, citing ongoing investigations and incomplete information.

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Blinken Report Criticizes Israel's Conduct in Gaza, Stops Short of Accusing Law Violations

Blinken Report Criticizes Israel's Conduct in Gaza, Stops Short of Accusing Law Violations

On Friday, the Biden us administration released a long-awaited report to Congress assessing Israel's conduct in Gaza, concluding that it is "reasonable to assess" that US weapons have been used by Israeli forces in ways inconsistent with law. However, the report stops short of officially accusing Israel of violating the law.

Why this matters: The report's findings have significant implications for US-Israeli relations and the ongoing conflict in Gaza, and could influence the future of US military aid to Israel. The report's criticism of Israel's conduct also raises questions about the country's adherence to international law and its treatment of Palestinian civilians.

The report, administration, international, law, drafted by the State Department, notes that investigations into potential violations are ongoing, but the US lacks complete information to verify whether US weapons were used in alleged violations. Despite this, the report concludes that the high civilian death toll and significant damage to Gaza's infrastructure raise serious questions about Israel's adherence to international law and best practices for mitigating civilian harm.

Covering the period from October 7 to late April, the story also examines Israel's cooperation with US efforts to increase humanitarian aid and distribution in Gaza. While noting initial reluctance from Israel, the report acknowledges improvements in recent months. However, it emphasizes that the level of assistance reaching Palestinians remains insufficient.

The report's findings have drawn criticism from both Democratic lawmakers and human rights organizations. Senator Chris Van Hollen, a key figure behind the report's mandate, expressed disappointment, stating that the us, report "ducked" major questions about Israel's compliance with international law. Van Hollen noted, "The report concluded there are 'reasonable grounds to believe' that the Netanyahu government has violated international law in its conduct in Gaza, but failed to make a definitive determination."

The index comes amid growing tensions between the US and Israel over military aid and the ongoing conflict in Gaza. The war between Israel and Hamas, which began on October 7, has resulted in over 34,000 Palestinian deaths, according to Hamas-controlled Gazan health authorities. President Joe Biden has threatened to halt additional weapons sales if Israel launches a major ground operation in Rafah without a credible plan to protect civilians.

As the conflict in Gaza continues, theState Department's report marks a significant moment in US-Israeli relations. While falling short of definitive accusations, the report's findings raise serious concerns about Israel's conduct and adherence to international law. As investigations continue and pressure mounts, the future of US military aid to Israel hangs in the balance.